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Jeremy Hunt to have say on Cumbria maternity care

Councillors have decided to refer plans to change maternity services in west Cumbria to the Health Secretary, in a crunch meeting today.

It means proposals to downgrade consultant-led maternity care at the West Cumberland Hospital will go before Jeremy Hunt.

They had initially also voted to refer two other proposals: changes to how sick children are cared for, and plans to close beds at community hospitals in Wigton, Alston and Maryport.

However, the final decision of the Health and Scrutiny Committee was to accept these two proposals, while rejecting the maternity plans and referring them to the Health Secretary.

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Councillors approve changes to emergency and surgery services

Proposals to reduce community hospital beds will be referred to the Health Secretary Credit: PA

The health scrutiny committee has approved plans to make changes to emergency and acute services in north and west Cumbria.

At the meeting today, councillors approved proposed changes to the following:

  • Emergency surgery
  • Trauma services
  • Orthopaedic services
  • Hyper-acute stroke services

The committee has voted to refer the proposal to reduce community hospital beds to the Health Secretary.

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Councillors vote against changes to maternity services

Councillors voted against the plans. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

Councillors have voted overwhelmingly against proposed changes to maternity services in Cumbria.

The government-appointed Success Regime has outlined proposals to downgrade maternity services at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, from a consultant-led unit to a midwife-led unit.

But at a meeting of Cumbria's Health Scrutiny Committee today, councillors voted by ten to one to refer the proposals to the Health Secretary.

Earlier, they had voted to refer plans to change the children's health service in west Cumbria to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

A final decision will be taken at the end of today's meeting.

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