Two years to turn around hospital trust

It'll take two years to get Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust back on track.

That's the forecast of its new chairman Sir David Henshaw who was brought in after the trust was heavily criticised by health watchdogs.

Today Sir David gave his first interview after taking charge at the trust, which runs Kendal's Westmorland General.

The Care Quality Commission have launched Investigations into A&E and maternity care and given warnings about management, high mortaility rates and staffing.

Sir David Henshaw has been brought in by the other health watch dog Monitor to sort out the issues.

Sir David told governers today a long term plan was needed to improve the ailing trust.

He said: "There's some immediate things to do and some short term things to do which will make a big difference I think for the trust but this looks like two years to me overall.

"What we have got to do is fix some basic things about systems and processes , we've got to change some of the leadership issues and also we've got to focus on the future.

"At the moment there is a big gulf between clinicians, doctors and managers and all my experiences tell me you've got to get those two groups together facing the same way behind a clear vision for the trust and that is absent at the moment."

"Will you be looking to work with local MPs, members of the community to find out what they want from their local health service?"

"I think that is one of the big issues I think that the trust has got a bit isolated it started to look a bit inward, so I've met all the MPs or nearly all of the MPs, im meeting the other one tomorrow in London, and other stakeholders and building up a set of relationships with the stakeholders, the University of Lancaster for example which should be a good partner, those sorts of relationships need fostering, making sure they work because in communities like this working together with organisations brings results."

This month 2,000 people marched through Kendal to call for improved cancer care at the hospital.

Today Sir David said there would be a review of services.

"We aren't ruling anything in or anything out, we are looking at all three sites. The sites we are talking about are looking at some minor schemes to make the sites work more effectively, it doesnt amtter which site you choose we all know that there are some minors things we can do to reorganise things to make them work a lot better."

His words were met with cautious optimism by local health campaigners.

"Clearly he is an able man from his CV and we wish him all the best we really hope that he can turn things round in the other hand I wrote to him a month ago now and I haven't had acknowledgement or a response so I am really hoping that he doesn want to deal with local group as has been suggested and that something positive really flows out of this."

– Dr Colin Wilkinson

After months of uncertainty for staff and patients The Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust is now putting together a long term improvement plan.

A new chief executive is expected to be announced tomorrow.