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Response from Prime Minister for #AnswerMaddy

A 10-year-old girl from Cumbria who wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to secure the future of services at the West Cumberland Hospital has had a response.

Letter to Maddy from the Prime Minister Credit: ITV News Border

Maddy has said she was very excited to receive the letter and was really pleased that he agreed with her mum in that if you believe in something and work hard you can achieve it.

However she says there is just one problem – He didn’t answer her question.

"From my perspective I was delighted he responded and I was pleased he reiterated the message that I always install into the girls in that they can achieve anything if they believe enough and work hard. Regarding the content of the letter I felt it was a load of old twaddle. He is just passing the buck. He mentioned a 24 hour A&E but people are waiting over 2 hours for ambulances and then being told they have to go to Carlisle. All the A&E will do will be assess and transfer. As for the maternity unit and need for a consultant that was brushed aside too."

– Emma-Jayne Gooch

10-year-old writes to Prime Minister to save hospital

A 10-year-old girl from Cumbria has written to the Prime Minister asking him to secure the future of services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Maddy Snell wrote a letter after attending a protest meeting in Whitehaven last week, along with thousands of other campaigners.

Health bosses want to reassure Maddy there's no chance of the hospital closing and only high risk operations have been moved away for safety reasons. But campaigners say there is still uncertainty over the future of other services.

Katie Oakes reports


Prime Minister - #AnswerMaddy

Maddy's letter to the Prime Minister Credit: Maddy Snell

A 10-year-old girl who was treated for pneumonia at West Cumberland Hospital has written to the Prime Minister asking for his help to save some of its services.

Maddy Snell heard about plans to move some services to Carlisle, 40 miles from Whitehaven, and when her mother said she was going to write to David Cameron, Maddy wanted to write too.

"We all need West Cumberland Hospital because say if someone was playing in the park and broke their arm, they would have to go all the way to Carlisle. Carlisle is a very long way to travel, especially to hospital."

– Maddy Snell

And she's determined for an answer from the Prime Minister.

"Everyone says you won't listen, but my mummy says if you believe in something and work hard you can achieve it, so I hope it means you will listen,"

– Maddy Snell

Her mother, Emma-Jayne Gooch, told ITV Border how proud of Maddy she is.

"I am extremely proud of Maddy. I am delighted by what she put in, and she really hopes he will listen to her. Three years ago, Maddy had pneumonia, and was treated overnight at West Cumberland hospital and they were great, and I was able to stay with her. I have another daughter so it would have been very tricky to take her to Carlisle."

– Emma-Jayne Gooch

Health officials say they understand the concerns of the people who demonstrated in west Cumbria last night but say they need to ensure services are safe and save lives.

The North Cumbria NHS Trust says only high risk operations have been moved, because of a lack of qualified staff in Whitehaven, and mortality rates have fallen as a result.