Politics: Copeland MP Jamie Reed: Health Special

Jamie ReedNOW is a crucial moment for the future of Health Services in our community.

In the last edition of Egremont 2Day, I explained that Jeremy Hunt had refused my invitation to visit West Cumbria to see for himself the challenges that we face in this part of the world. I told you that if he wouldn’t come to us, we would go to him.

West Cumbrian Health campaigners were ready.

They planned to make the long trip to Parliament, and they were prepared to set out the case for the retention and improvement of Health Services here in West Cumbria.

I am disappointed to report that, at short notice, Jeremy Hunt cancelled the meeting.

He did so the day after he announced his ambition to lead the Conservative Party.

Our community saw his decision to put his personal ambitions ahead of the NHS in West Cumbria as the insult it surely is.

I led the West Cumbrian campaigners instead to the Department of Health, where we met with the Under Secretary of State for Care Quality, Ben Gummer MP.

We explained the necessity of consultant led services at the West Cumberland Hospital, and the importance of the retention of beds at our community hospitals.

The campaigners made a passionate, logical and moving case, and they even handed the Minister a confidential document detailing the cases of women and their babies who would have suffered fatalities if consultant-led maternity services had been removed from the West Cumberland Hospital.

Government are well aware that the removal of our consultant led services would be dangerous.

Following on from the meeting, Jeremy Hunt continues to refuse to visit West Cumbria. Government continue to fail to intervene to ensure the retention and improvement of consultant led Accident and Emergency and maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital, and the retention of beds at the Keswick and Millom community hospitals

However, we as a community cannot and will not let them off the hook.

Moreover, I am extremely concerned by an email leaked shortly after the meeting, which revealed that the ongoing Success Regime, to which our local Health Services are subject, are considering the removal of maternity services from the West Cumberland Hospital altogether. That is appalling.

Following this revelation, I made a speech in Parliament during a debate on NHS spending.

I set out that, if the Success Regime turns out to be a Trojan horse initiated by the Government to slash budgets and remove services, our community will never accept nor forgive that.

I also explained that Brexit campaigners in Government who promised the country that a Brexit vote would result in an extra £350 million per week for the NHS, a promise that they have since reneged on, especially those who aspire to be the next leader of our country, have a particular responsibility to stand before Parliament and the country, and explain to all the people whom they knowingly deceived why they did it, where the money is coming from, and what they are going to do about it.

As always, I am here to help. If you need any advice or support from your local MP, you can contact me on jamie.reed.mp@parliament.uk