500 people back Westmorland Gazette's 'Hands off our Hospital' campaign in just one week

The Westmorland Gazette: Anna Clarke with some of coupons returned to the Gazette this week Anna Clarke with some of coupons returned to the Gazette this week

HUNDREDS of people have stood up for their local health service by backing the Gazette’s ‘Hands off our Hospital’ campaign.

More than 500 people have already responded to the rallying cry to safeguard Westmorland General Hospital services, after a pair of consultants raised fears some could be moved from the site or out of NHS control.

“I’m delighted that the local community are so supportive of the hospital in Kendal and have got behind the campaign,” said one of the consultants, who asked to remain anonymous.

“I hope this will make the managers listen and realise how much strong feeling there is about keeping services safe.”

The campaign was launched last week after he and a colleague revealed they had been briefed on potential changes to the Kendal site.

They said at a meeting with Jackie Daniel, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, they were told services could be moved elsewhere, with the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in line for £150m of investment and Furness General Hospital another £15m.

They were also told the site could be ‘gifted’ to a ‘social enterprise’.

And last week Dr Hugh Reeve, chair of the Cumbria CCG, was unable to give ‘categorical assurances’ that existing services will be maintained at WGH.

On Thursday the Gazette launched its ‘Hands off our Hospital’ campaign - and within days received mail bags bulging with hundreds of signed coupons.

"It's fantastic that so many people have signed the ‘Hands off our Hospital’ petition,” said Kendal town councillor Matt Severn, who has previously campaigned on health isues in the area.

“It sends a really strong message from our community that this is our hospital and we don’t want it going anywhere else.

“We need to keep up the positive campaigning and keep giving our message to the health bosses.”

The campaign has gathered support from MPs, councillors, unions and members of the public.

It mirrors a campaign run by South Lakes MP Tim Farron, whose petition has now gathered around 3,500 signatures. “It shows how much people care and love our local hospital,” he said. And it prompted Silverdale resident, Jim Allison, 73, to launch his own petition online.

“The more signatures we can send to hospital bosses, the better,” he said. “We can’t do without the hospital.”

Ms Daniel’s proposal was made as part of the Better Care Together programme, which is being led by the trust and the Cumbria and North Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, to create a long-term plan for healthcare around Morecambe Bay.

But this week a poll on the Gazette website asked readers if they were ‘confident about the long-term future’ of WGH - and 86 per cent of people said they were not.

“It is important Better Care Together listen to the hundreds of voices calling for services at Westmorland General to be protected,” said Furness MP John Woodcock.

And former patient and Grange-over-Sands resident, Nancy Bradshaw, 71, added: “I hope the bosses at the hospital will listen to what we’re saying.”

Mr Allison’s petition can be signed at epetitions.direct. gov.uk/petitions/63802

You can voice your support for The Westmorland Gazette's campaign by printing off and signing the form at the top of this page.

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Comments (4)

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11:46am Sat 19 Apr 14

jallison says...

Over, 2,500 have alreadysigned Tim Farron's. Less than 20 have signed mine

Please sign my e-petition to Downing Street. You name won't be revealed, just the total number of signatories

Please sign now, it only takes a few seconds : t epetitions.direct. gov.uk/petitions/638
02

Thank you, we need WGH to keep open for locals sake
Over, 2,500 have alreadysigned Tim Farron's. Less than 20 have signed mine Please sign my e-petition to Downing Street. You name won't be revealed, just the total number of signatories Please sign now, it only takes a few seconds : t epetitions.direct. gov.uk/petitions/638 02 Thank you, we need WGH to keep open for locals sake jallison
  • Score: 2

11:52am Sat 19 Apr 14

jallison says...

Please note, there should be no t before epetitions, for some reason it's been put there during transit.
Please note, there should be no t before epetitions, for some reason it's been put there during transit. jallison
  • Score: 0

11:45pm Sat 19 Apr 14

davidearnshaw says...

Come on EVERYONE in Westmorland General's "catchment" area SIGN, SIGN, SIGN, encourage your Families, friends, neighbours all to SIGN ---- its no use muttering and grumbling later when Services have gone -- if you haven't made your feelings known ---- write a letter too to The Chief Executive Ms Jackie Daniels c/o Westmorland General Hospital Kendal --- and to Dr Hugh Reeve, GP Chairman of the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, which will have a BIG SAY in what stays / goes at Westmorland General Hospital -- contact details
NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group
Lonsdale Unit
Penrith Hospital
Bridge Lane
Penrith
Cumbria
CA11 8HX

Tel: 01768 245 486

Email :
enquiries@cumbriaccg
.nhs.uk
Only by Saturation of all these folks will we get our message across.----- Leave alone or improve / increase services at Westmrland General Hospital.
Come on EVERYONE in Westmorland General's "catchment" area SIGN, SIGN, SIGN, encourage your Families, friends, neighbours all to SIGN ---- its no use muttering and grumbling later when Services have gone -- if you haven't made your feelings known ---- write a letter too to The Chief Executive Ms Jackie Daniels c/o Westmorland General Hospital Kendal --- and to Dr Hugh Reeve, GP Chairman of the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, which will have a BIG SAY in what stays / goes at Westmorland General Hospital -- contact details NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group Lonsdale Unit Penrith Hospital Bridge Lane Penrith Cumbria CA11 8HX Tel: 01768 245 486 Email : enquiries@cumbriaccg .nhs.uk Only by Saturation of all these folks will we get our message across.----- Leave alone or improve / increase services at Westmrland General Hospital. davidearnshaw
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Ambience says...

This sort of thing is taking place all over the country. Plans were under way to privatise the NHS when Mrs Thatcher was PM. There is nothing anyone can do as plans are now well advanced. Read the excellent book NHS SOS by Andrew Lansell (available at local libraries) and you will see that not even Tim Farron can save hospital services. And he knows it.
This sort of thing is taking place all over the country. Plans were under way to privatise the NHS when Mrs Thatcher was PM. There is nothing anyone can do as plans are now well advanced. Read the excellent book NHS SOS by Andrew Lansell (available at local libraries) and you will see that not even Tim Farron can save hospital services. And he knows it. Ambience
  • Score: -1

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