In response Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth MP, said:
“Today's figures reveal the pressure and strain A&E departments are under across the country. People will be shocked that the A&E target has been missed for twenty three months in a row. North Cumbria University Hospital NHS trust missed the target by nearly 10% this month with figures showing only 85.8% of people were seen within four hours. It's simply not good enough.
“At a time like this, the Government should be taking action to ensure the NHS is given extra resources to deal with the challenges it is facing and to support the dedicated hard working NHS staff holding it all together.
“Instead, the Tories are putting the future of West Cumberland Hospital under threat with proposals that could result in the A&E being axed, the children’s ward closing and Doctors being removed from the maternity unit.
“Labour is calling on the Government to ensure that the NHS has proper funding here in West Cumbria and across the country, to guarantee that key waiting targets are protected and to abandon any attempts to downgrade the A&E target.”