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Responding to concerns over proposals for the ‘downgrading’ of accident and emergency services at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:

“This information on proposals to downgrade local A&E services was published in November 2016. There is no new information from reports over recent days, merely it is a review of all STPs nationally.

“I raised my concerns in a parliamentary debate alongside Southport MP, John Pugh, back in November.

“The fundamental problem with Sustainability and Transformation Plans is from the beginning they were put together in secret. Local residents have been totally excluded from the decision-making processes.

“Still, NHS bosses have failed to adequately explain what they mean by ‘downgrading’. What this means in NHS management speak and what me and local residents understand it to mean can be completely different.

“Publishing this information without any explanation has led to anxiety and distress about the future of local health services. It also adds further pressure and begins to destabilise our local hospitals at a time when they are already under incredible pressure.

“This whole situation highlights the lack of accountability we now have within the NHS. Bosses seem to believe they can do as they please with taxpayer-funded services and don’t have to answer to anyone.

“I am obviously concerned about the future of the hospital and will be expressing my concerns when I meet with the chief executive of NHS Improvement in the coming weeks.

“I will always fight to protect local health services, which I have done in the past and continue to do as the people of West Lancashire should have access to a local hospital and local accident and emergency services.”

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