Securing the Future of GP Surgeries and Hospital Services in Cumbria

Our NHS services are the bedrock of our community’s well-being, and yet, we find ourselves in a battle to keep them accessible and fully functional. Now is the time to act to prevent the closure of GP surgeries and hospital wards that so many of us rely on.

Recently, we witnessed the distressing situation at Haverthwaite GP Surgery, where an exorbitant rent increase of 65% was followed by an eviction notice. This is a clear warning signal that private GP practices are vulnerable under the current framework and require immediate action to safeguard their future.

My campaign stands firm on the following pillars:

Securing Longer Rental Leases: GP practices operating from privately rented premises must negotiate longer lease terms to ensure stability and continuity of care. This will prevent abrupt disruptions like those faced by Haverthwaite Surgery.

Local Government Intervention: In cases where secure, lengthy leases are unattainable, local government bodies must step in. They should explore purchasing property or seek alternative solutions to relocate the practice, ensuring its long-term viability.

Annual Financial Health Reports: Every GP surgery should produce a detailed yearly report to identify and address potential financial issues. Where funding is found to be lacking, we will advocate for government support and encourage practices to enhance their financial management systems.

Preventing Hospital Overcrowding: By resolving problems at the GP level, we will alleviate unnecessary hospital visits, easing pressure on our hospitals and improving overall healthcare efficiency.

Public-Private Partnerships: Struggling practices should seek partnerships with public and private sectors to secure financial aid, management expertise, or technological prowess, preventing potential closures.

Embracing Telemedicine: In rural areas like Cumbria, telemedicine and digital health services are indispensable. We must utilise these technologies to broaden healthcare reach, trim costs, and boost accessibility, especially for underserved communities.

Continuous Hospital Improvement: Westmorland General Hospital, a cornerstone for healthcare in our region, has endured ward closures and reduced operating hours. A thriving, growing population means we need this facility more than ever. While the pursuit of a radiotherapy unit remains a goal, our immediate focus is to ensure the hospital runs 24/7, catering to all healthcare needs and diligently seeking additional funding for further enhancements.

Prudent Investment of Funds: The £22.3 million funding for Westmorland General must be judiciously allocated. We stand for unwavering standards, ensuring that the hospital not only maintains its level of care but continuously seeks improvement.

Join us in this vital campaign to protect and enhance our local GP surgeries and hospitals. Together, we can ensure that the residents of Cumbria have reliable, high-quality healthcare now and for future generations.

Taking action on this issue
  • Negotiate Longer Rental Leases: Ensure GP practices in private rentals secure extended lease terms for stability.
  • Local Government Support: Have local authorities intervene when long leases aren’t possible, either by purchasing property or finding alternative locations for practices.
  • Reduce Hospital Pressure: Address GP-level issues to lower the number of unnecessary hospital visits, easing the strain on hospital resources.
  • Expand Telemedicine: Implement telemedicine services broadly to increase healthcare access and reduce costs, particularly in remote areas.
  • Strengthen Hospital Services: Ensure that essential facilities like Westmorland General Hospital operate round-the-clock and seek funds to expand and improve services.
  • Smart Allocation of Funds: Allocate the £22.3 million funding for Westmorland General Hospital wisely, focusing on maintaining and improving care standards.