Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

16/03/06 MP Rosie announces that hospital merger plans have ceas

Local Labour MP for West Lancashire, Rosie Cooper, is delighted to officially announce that the plans to merge Southport & Ormskirk Hospital Trust with Aintree and Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen Trusts have been resoundingly defeated.

Rosie Cooper MP brought the secret talks of merging the hospital trusts to the attention of the public and the Government back in October 2005. Ever since she has been lobbying ministers and the Secretary of State for Health campaigning tirelessly with the help of a broad group of supporters and campaigners as well as David Borrow MP for South Ribble, with many of his constituents affected by these plans, to ensure Southport and Ormskirk Trust remained independent.

Rosie Cooper MP said:

“I am absolutely delighted to announce the news that we have won the battle to stop the plans to merge the hospital. It has been a tough fight but in the end we were able to resist this ridiculous merger proposal because of the strength of local opposition. I just want to thank every single person who put their name to the petition and for those people who wrote to me expressing their support and their defence of residents’ right to have their say.”

“When I first heard talk of merger plans I knew this would be a disaster for the people of West Lancashire. Any formal merger with Liverpool hospitals would undoubtedly have meant the people of West Lancashire losing their voice, not being able to have their say on their health services and how they are run. I believe this would have meant that eventually services would have moved to Liverpool where the University teaching hospitals are sited and where there are more people.”

“For me personally merger was simply not an option. It was not in the interests of West Lancashire residents and so I campaigned hard both locally and nationally to make sure that the merger plans never became a reality. I feel a sense of relief that we won this battle and are ready and able to fight our corner in the discussions which now need to take place to secure the future of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital and deal with the historic debt.”

“I hope this victory sends out a message to health service professionals that the National Health Service exists to serve the needs of the people, not health service managers. Any decisions made in the name of the people should be made in an open and transparent manner not quietly by managers agreeing between themselves what is best for them.”

“I hope it also sends out a message to local residents that when we are united and pulling in the same direction we can make people take notice. This victory should go some way to restore people’s faith that they can make a difference and that people will listen to what they want.”

“There are still some tough decisions that lie ahead as far as the hospital is concerned. We cannot be complacent for a second, even after this great victory. Now the hard work really starts because the problem of the hospitals debt has not gone away. Together with other MP’s I will be meeting the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority on the 15th March to discuss the findings of the consultants report and the way forward."

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