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Tim’s campaign to save our hospital now reaches 2,600 signatories

April 8, 2014 1:18 PM

Group of campaigners outside Westmorland General HospitalIn just a few days, over 2,600 South Lakes residents have signed Tim Farron MP's petition expressing their concern that their local hospital might be closed.

Tim launched the petition last week after news came to light that hospital bosses were looking at 'gifting' the Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) to a social enterprise. Two whistle-blowers said that they believe: "Social enterprise is a euphemism for private companies like Circle who already run one NHS hospital in Hinchingbrooke [in Cambridge]. This is not a recipe for collaboration and integration or development of services and has not been successful in Hinchingbrooke."

Tim has sent a letter to NHS bosses asking them to give clarity and reassurances to local residents over the claims that Westmorland General will be closed, transferred to another trust or given to a private health provider.

Tim said: "I am deeply disturbed by these proposals to 'gift' our hospital to a private company. The pressure is on for University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Trust to give a clear and unambiguous assurance that Westmorland General Hospital is safe.

"Tens of thousands of local residents in South Lakeland, south Eden and north Lancashire, for whom WGH is their nearest hospital, deserve the same re-assurances that have been offered to people in Furness and Lancaster.

"I would urge local residents to say 'hands off our hospital' by signing our petition at http://timfarron.co.uk/en/petition/hands-off-our-hospital.

"I will be taking to the streets of Kendal on Friday to collect even more signatures-it is vital that our voice is heard. We will not tolerate any threat to our hospital - residents in rural areas like ours deserve the same quality health care as people in urban centres. As a community we will stand together to win this campaign as we have won our campaigns before."