Jamie Reed Copeland MP

IT’s all change at the top again with our local hospital trust as one Chief Executive leaves and another enters – the fifth in 11 years. I’d like to place […]

IT’s all change at the top again with our local hospital trust as one Chief Executive leaves and another enters – the fifth in 11 years.

I’d like to place on record my thanks to the outgoing Ann Farrar and her team for the work they have done in North Cumbria.

It hasn’t been the easiest of times for the Trust and now we must seek a fresh start.

With the opening of the new West Cumberland Hospital and the continued fight for services to be retained in West Cumbria, it is a crucial time for the Trust and the new Chief Executive must be willing to engage with the local community, with a view to being innovative and retaining these services. I want to congratulate Stephen Eames on his appointment and I look forward to working with him.

He will find in us a community willing to get involved and add value to discussions about the future of the healthcare in our community.

This is a valuable resource for the Trust and they must now engage comprehensively.

Given that this is a crucial time for the whole of the NHS, particularly in Cumbria, with many challenging health inequalities, we need stability for the Trust and I will be seeking urgent assurances from NHS England and the

Government that a comprehensive transition plan is in place so that patient care is not affected by managerial changes.

As a community, we’ll continue to push on in 2016.

With health, we’ll continue to fight for the services at the West Cumberland Hospital, attract more doctors and nurses and continue to develop our programme to ‘grow our own’ medics.
With the local economy, the Moorside project continues apace as we get set to receive the largest private sector investment we have ever seen in our part of the world.

Town centre regeneration should continue, with more investments identified, and the fight to improve the A595 will continue.

These are my priorities, but there’s a lot of work to be done in Parliament too, as a member of the Environment & Climate Change Select Committee and, internationally, as one of the British delegates to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

There’s also the small matter of the EU referendum, likely to be held in June.

Speaking of the EU, the Prime Minister’s feeble attempts to secure a public relations coup look like they are costing Cumbria dearly.

The EU has available funds for flood relief in the shape of its solidarity fund.

Member states have to apply for this money, but David Cameron refuses to do so, for fear of being seen to be asking the EU for help.

It’s a genuine disgrace when the cost of the flood damage to Cumbria is estimated to be over £600m – particularly when the government has so far offered only £40m (welcome, no doubt, but a paltry sum in truth.)

I’ve written to the Prime Minister, urging him to apply for this funding: our needs must not be ignored simply so that the Prime Minister can try to save his face in a mess of his own making.

Faster than a speeding bullet…

I’ll be running the London Marathon again this April to try and raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The money will go to improving treatments for the condition and – eventually- the discovery of a cure.
I developed the condition two weeks before the 2010 general election and the West Cumberland Hospital saved my life.

In January last year, my then 16 year old niece developed the condition and in November last year, my 10 year old son developed the condition, too. Our stretched and battered health services have been magnificent throughout.

It’s a matter close to my heart and that of another 400,000 Britons, including 29,000 children.
Times are tight for everyone, but if you can, please donate to the effort on my Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/Jamie-Reed7

And yes, Mo Farah is worried…