West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has met with local Hospital boss Jonathan Parry to discuss the closure of breast care services at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital to new patients due to the national shortage of radiologists.

Following the meeting Rosie is taking the fight to secure breast care services to Westminster. Rosie is calling on the Health Secretary to take to tackle the national shortage of radiologists, particularly breast care specialists before we face a crisis.

After the initial announcement in early September Rosie raised her concerns with the Royal College of Radiologists. According to the Royal College there has been an increase in radiology workloads of between 10 and 12 per cent per year.

As a Member of the Health Select Committee Rosie has also written to the committee chair, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, to raise her concerns and is calling for the influential Parliamentary committee to hold an inquiry on this issue.

MP Rosie said:

“Having breast cancer services provided locally would always be my preference but these services must be provided safely. It is clear that the national shortage of radiologists is preventing the hospital from providing the service.

“It is essential this shortage is addressed and this has to start with the Health Secretary and NHS England.  

“For the Health Select Committee we need to understand how this happened and how it is to be resolved.  

“There has been enormous progress in improving women’s breast care and health in recent decades. I’m worried that progress could be lost by a failure to recruit and train radiologists.

“There has been an enormous increase in the radiology workload yet the recruitment of staff has not kept pace.

“Even if we started training extra radiologists today it would be five years before the benefits would be felt in the NHS. We cannot afford to wait.

“This is why I have raised this issue in Westminster with the Department of Health and the Health Select Committee. It is their actions that will enable Southport and Ormskirk Hospital to provide the services West Lancashire residents need.”

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