Rory Stewart MP has written to both Sir Neil McKay of the NHS Success
Regime for Cumbria and to Department of Health Minister Ben Gummer, to
request an urgent meeting to discuss his unequivocal backing of his
constituency’s community hospitals. His involvement follows the
release of documents relating to the Success Regime, and wording
relating to the future of Cumbria’s community hospitals.

Today Rory said: “Many of the suggested recommendations relating to
addressing remote healthcare, and ageing demographics, are very
welcome. However I am deeply concerned about the perceived threat to
our cottage hospitals, which I shall be supporting in the strongest
possible terms. Our so-called ‘cottage’ hospitals are treasured,
locally, as an absolutely critical pillar of community healthcare. And
I believe very strongly that these hospitals have a greater role to
play in delivering healthcare in this part of Cumbria, rather than a
reduced role, and I can see no advantage in reducing their scope or
centralising services elsewhere. We have shown, in the past years,
that local services can be retained even in a challenging financial
context. We have preserved services from community ambulances, to
snowploughs, to cinemas, to fire-engines. Arguably none of these are
as precious as our community hospitals, though, and I resolve to fight
any threat to our beloved community hospitals, in no uncertain terms.”

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