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Labour’s candidate for Carlisle, Lee Sherriff today (Tuesday 28 April) set out her recovery plan for NHS services in Carlisle. Ms Sherriff was joined by Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham visiting a mother and baby group before launching her five pledges to improve health services in the city.

Promising to make the NHS her number one priority if elected next week, Lee Sherriff pledged:

  • Extra doctors and nurses for Cumbria and I’ll work with our universities to recruit them. Lee will ensure that Carlisle shares in the 1,100 extra doctors and 3,200 extra nurses promised for the North West by the Labour Party under their NHS Time to Care fund. This will be funded by a levy on the tobacco firms and a mansion tax on homes over £2million. She’ll also work with Universities, Colleges and schools across Cumbria to encourage local young people into the medical profession.
  • I’ll fight for fairer funding for Cumbria. Lee will press for changes in health funding to ensure that challenges presented by Cumbria’s unique geography are reflected in funding formulas.
  • I’ll knock heads together to get action and a timetable for improvement. After five years of dither and delay, and a stalled takeover, Lee will bring all parties together and demand a clear public timetable for improvement in performance. She will begin work on a health summit as a priority if she becomes Carlisle’s MP.
  • I’ll continue to fight for our ambulance service and to keep night-time cover. Lee led the fight against proposals from the North West Ambulance Service to reduce the number of ambulances in Carlisle overnight. She will continue this fight to ensure the threat to night-time services does not return.
  • Tackle the hospital car parking problem. Lee will support the plan by the Healthwatch Cumbria and partners to relieve the parking problems which add to the inconvenience suffered by patients and visitors. She will continue to press for longer-term solutions. 

At the launch Lee Sherriff said:

“My first priority will be our NHS. I want to knock heads together. We have had five years of dither and delay over hospital services in Carlisle and patient experiences have slipped back to an unacceptable level.

“I want local people to have access to a high quality NHS services where our hard-working NHS staff feel valued and respected. The current situation at the hospital is unacceptable. We urgently need to relieve pressure on the Cumberland Infirmary by recruiting more doctors and nurses. Labour’s Time to Care fund will allow us to do this.

“The Trust takeover seems to have stalled and the public have the right to know what is going on. One of my first acts as MP would be to call together all the parties involved, together with health experts, to get a clear forward plan.

“Longer-term we need to grow our own Cumbrian medical staff to solve staff shortages. If elected I want to work closely with our universities, colleges and schools to encourage more of our young people to become doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals and to stay in the area.

“As a candidate I have already demonstrated I am up for the fight, standing up against cuts to our night-time ambulance service. I hope the people of Carlisle give me their support next week so I can fight for the 21st century NHS people deserve.”

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