MP urges Health Secretary to back down over hospital merger plans

April 23, 2021 10:54 AM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Local MP Tim Farron has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, asking him to drop proposals to merge the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Royal Preston Hospital.

Last October the Conservative Government announced plans to replace the two hospitals with 'either a single or two hospitals' prompting fears that key health services could be moved further away from residents in the South Lakes.

The move has since gone quiet after Tim vowed to fight the plans with nearly 3,000 local residents signing his petition demanding the Government shelve the plans.

However when asked about plans to merge the two hospitals onto a single site at a recent meeting of Lancashire County Council's health scrutiny committee, the executive director of the Lancashire and South Cumbria new hospitals programme said that "at this stage, I don't think we can rule out any option".

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Tim said: "I'm deeply alarmed to see plans to shut the Royal Lancaster Infirmary rear their ugly head again.

"While investment in our local NHS is badly needed, this simply cannot not result in local residents having to travel even further to access vital health services like A&E.

"I am therefore urging you to immediately back down and announce that your Government will no longer be seeking to close the RLI."