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MP welcomes intervention from NHS England 'That could change hospital campaign'

May 1, 2014 11:20 AM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed an intervention by Simon Stevens that Tim believes could make a massive difference in the 'Hands off our Hospital' campaign.

The merger or closure of small hospitals might not be the best way forward for an already "centralised" English NHS, Simon Stevens told the Commons health committee earlier this week.

The NHS England chief executive's comments mark a significant change in direction from his predecessor Sir David Nicholson, who favoured centralising most specialist services into 15-30 centres.

The change of approach could have wide-ranging implications for NHS England's future strategy.

He told MP's: "It may well be if we get creative about what it would take [to sustain smaller hospitals] it may not be a question of merging or closing [them] as some would seem to think."

Tim said: "This could have a massive impact on our campaign to protect Westmorland General. Local NHS bosses repeated like a mantra - NHS England says this or that and they have followed their commands to the letter. Now it seems that NHS England has agreed that local community hospitals are vital, something health campaigners like myself have been arguing for years. I will be asking Simon Stevens to speak to the local clinical commissioning group and help protect our hospital."