In January 30 edition of the Lancaster Guardian it was reported that a large ‘super hospital’ is to be built to serve the whole of Morecambe Bay (‘Super hospital’ plan revealed). Sounds good doesn’t it?
But where would such a hospital be located? Well, Kendal is the mid-point (sort of) between Lancaster and Barrow so it could be argued that’s where it should go. Perhaps that’s why Tim Farron, the Lib Dem MP for Kendal, is supportive of the idea.
I hope that our two Tory MPs, Eric Ollerenshaw and David Morris, are equally supportive of NHS services in Lancaster.
I believe we need good quality hospitals in Lancaster, Barrow and Kendal that are able to provide a comprehensive range of services. Yes, some specialisms can be better delivered when centralised, as Blackpool does for heart surgery.
But most people want to go to their local hospital for routine treatments/surgery. They don’t want to be bundled into an ambulance for a lengthy journey to a distant A&E if they have an accident.
Also, we need to ask that once patients are in this ‘super hospital’ will relations be easily able to make a long trek on a reducing public transport system to visit them?
I don’t think the residents of Lancaster, Morecambe and district would want to lose the services currently provided by our RLI.
I wonder if this scheme will be used as an excuse to downgrade our hospital services, for our A&E to become a minor injuries clinic, to close our intensive care facility and to lose our maternity unit?
Last March I and others presented a petition containing nearly 6,000 signatures to the chair of the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust calling on our RLI services to be maintained. The petition demonstrated the strength of feeling in the area. I hope that the trust won’t ignore this when decisions are made.
If we end up losing our local services this ‘super hospital’ won’t sound so super to me.