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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