Have your say on hospital’s future

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Members of the public will be able to air their views about the future of services at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Representatives of the Labour Party will be in the Arndale Centre in Morecambe from 10.30am this Saturday to listen to peoples’ concerns that options could include closures or reduction of services including A&E, maternity services, intensive care and surgical procedures.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT) has launched a major review of hospital services, although they have denied that any plans for possible closure or changes are at an advanced stage. Labour Councillor David Whittaker said: “If this move goes ahead, lives could be put at risk. Services are stretched as it is. We need to be ready to oppose this move if it goes ahead.”

A page has been set up on Facebook, called ‘Save Lancaster A and E - no cuts to our hospital.’

MP David Morris said: “I have received assurances that A&E services at Lancaster Royal Infirmary are not closing. I will be discussing this with the Chief Executive and the Secretary of State for Health.”

The UHMBT, which runs the RLI, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and Furness General Hospital in Barrow, needs to make savings as the government expects it to save five per cent of its forecasted £225m budget per year.

Jackie Daniel, chief executive, said: “Let’s be clear, despite what has been reported, no decisions about how services may change or be developed have been made, but discussions about how services could be designed and operate and what people want and value most about health services, will help shape these decisions over the next few months.”