MP says: 'Hands off our Hospital'
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has this morning launched his 'biggest ever campaign' calling for health bosses to 'keep their hands off our hospital'.
Two whistle-blowers believe that health bosses are looking at looking at 'gifting' the Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) to a social enterprise. The whistle-blowers said that they believe: "social enterprise is a euphemism for private companies like Circle who already run one NHS hospital in Hinchingbroke [in Cambridge]. This is not a recipe for collaboration and integration or development of services and has not been successful in Hinchingbroke."
Currently health bosses are conducting a major review of NHS services throughout Morecambe Bay. The news that there is an option that Westmorland General could be parcelled off is something Tim said he will 'totally and utterly oppose'.
Tim has regularly pressed health bosses to bring more services to Westmorland General. Tim points to the fact that there has been a lot of investment in NHS surgical services at WGH including new operating theatres and chemotherapy; and that WGH now has a very productive and safe surgical unit. Tim campaigned with local residents to bring these services to Kendal.
This morning, Tim has urged residents to stand up and say 'hands off our hospital'. Tim has launched a petition and asked people to sign it. The petition can be found here: http://timfarron.co.uk/en/petition/hands-off-our-hospital
Tim has also asked people to use twitter to spread the message by using the hashtag #handsoffourhospital
This morning, Tim also sent a letter to health bosses asking for 5 reassurances:
That the hospital - it's land, services and staff will be run by the NHS and will not be passed on, TUPE'd or parcelled off to the private or third sector.
No reduction in PCAS services
Maternity services are safeguarded
Chemotherapy services are safeguarded
Radiotherapy services are brought to Westmorland General Hospital
Tim said: "It is unthinkable that our hospital trust should do anything rather than grow our hospital. I am launching the biggest campaign I have ever run to safeguard our hospital. I will not accept local people being put at risk in this way.
"Barrow and Lancaster hospitals have been given assurances about their long term future, but not Kendal. I want the trust to now give those assurances to Kendal too. I will fight tooth and nail to protect our hospital."