Our cottage hospital is threatened, and it’s serious. We are a small community, separated by high passes and difficult roads from the next available hospital facilities (the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle is nearly 30 miles from Alston, more from other parts of Alston Moor). Our hospital provides first-call emergency facilities (a nurse-led treatment unit), used by locals and visiting tourists alike, and beds used for convalescence and the care of people who are dying.
Without our hospital, the whole community will suffer. Public transport to Carlisle is extremely limited; the car journey is long and can be very difficult in winter. To travel for 50-70 minutes each way for a 10-minute visit (often all a sick person can cope with) cannot be done every day; the need to take time off work, caring commitments or school puts a strain on family and friends.
The community is unanimous – we need our hospital and the cost of removing our remaining in-patient beds is too high in its impact on all of us. Cutting them to seven was already a mistake; removing them entirely is disastrous. We need 12-16 beds. We need medical beds for step up and step down care both of which take pressure off the Cumberland Infirmary. We need beds for respite, palletive and end of life care.
It might even prove difficult to maintain our GP surgery without the hospital. We may be remote, but we still matter.
Please sign to support us and our hospital.
===Copy the text below and paste it as a new email to everyone you know===
We have a fabulous cottage hospital in Alston, Cumbria, including a minor injuries unit, used by locals and tourists alike which is under threat of closure. Cumbria NHS Success Regime (sic) are starting with taking away our beds. The thin end of the wedge. Alston is 30 miles away from a main hospital on country roads with little to no public transport.
I've just signed this petition to demand the hospital keeps its beds. Will you do the same please?
Please will you also share this with all your friends and family too.