Local Labour MP, Rosie Cooper, believes the next few weeks will be vitally important in the battle over the future of local health services as the consultants, McKinsey’s & Co, appointed to review the merger option get closer to publishing their report. It is believed the report is due at the end of January.
Rosie is calling on all West Lancashire residents to make it a new year’s resolution to sign her Say No To Merger petition. People can collect the petition by calling into the constituency office at 127 Burscough Street or phoning 01695 570094.
The issue of the future of health services in West Lancashire is to be discussed at Council meeting as an Assembly on Wednesday 25 January 2006. This will be an opportunity for local residents concerned about the future of health services to make their voices heard. Representatives from the health service will attend the meeting.
Any local resident wanting to attend the meeting should call West Lancashire District Council on 01695 577177 for a ticket.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“We must do all we can over the next month to make sure health service executives know just how ridiculous the idea of merging of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust with Hospital Trusts in Liverpool is. I believe people feel strongly about this merger and do not want it to go ahead judging by comments and responses I have received.”
“Merger is just a quick solution to the financial difficulties, which will only result in local people getting a raw deal when it comes to health services over the longer term. This cannot be allowed to happen.”
“I believe the forthcoming Council Assembly will be an excellent chance for the Strategic Health Authority representatives to hear first hand of the concerns and the experiences of West Lancashire residents. How the lack of good public transport makes access to health services difficult.”
“Given the current state of the transport system locally it is already a challenge for many people to get to either the Ormskirk or Southport sites in a reasonable time. I believe merger could only make this situation even worse. People would have to take a day off work just to visit friends and family. We will have people travelling 25 miles one way to visit a patient or for a specialist appointment in Merseyside hospitals passing a local hospital on their way. This is just not an acceptable situation for local people.”
“We must not allow the health service executives to use the McKinsey report to take the easy option, we must not allow the option of merger to be the agreed way ahead. The only way in which this can be stopped is by local people making their voices heard. The health service executives must feel the full weight and pressure of local residents’ opposition to the proposed merger.”
“It is not the health service executives who have to live with the consequences of their decisions but the people of West Lancashire. That is why it is vital people have their say and make their voices heard because if we don’t do it now then it will be too late in the future.”