1. ITV Report

Report highlights concerns at the Cumberland Infirmary

The findings of inspections into the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven have been made public. The unannounced inspections were carried out in July.

An inspection of the A and E ward at the Cumberland Infirmary has raised concerns about cleanliness and infection control, equipment suitability and staff support.

Staff from the Care Quality Commission inspected the ward at 6am on 12th June 2012 and reported minor concerns about:

  • The storing of clinical waste bags
  • Dirty laundry bags
  • Black general refuse bags in a dirty utility room
  • High level dusting hadn't been carried out in cubicles in the unit
  • Some furniture required steam cleaning.
  • Incomplete training records for staff.

They also reported minor concerns about a shortage of some equipment including pressure mattresses, which they noted was resolved. One inspector found a plug socket was broken with the wires exposed and this was brought to the attention of the ward manager who withdrew it from service.

Inside the Cumberland Infirmary Credit: ITV Border

The Cumberland Infirmary was found to be meeting standards in all other areas and practises have now been introduced in the problems areas highlighted. Chris Platton, the Director of Nursing and Quality was keen to point out that none of the issues raised affected patient care.

"I'm both pleased and disappointed, I'm pleased with the staff that they were a credit to the organisation. Of the 100% of patients interviewed in private they were all satisfied with the care they received. I am disappointed with the minor concerns but what is a really key message is that none of those concerns directly affected patient care."

– Chris Platton, Director of Nursing and Quality

Estephanie Dunn from the Royal College of Nursing spoke to ITV Border's reporter Hannah Lomas, she explained their concerns and their response to the findings of the report.

In a statement the Care Quality Commission said:

"CQC carried out an inspection at Cumberland Infirmary in June with particular emphasis on the Accident and Emergency department The visit was undertaken in line with our schedule of planned reviews but also in response to concerns raised regarding staffing and patient care.

"Visiting inspectors found that the trust was compliant with standards of care relating to care and welfare, safeguarding, medicines management, and staffing. Inspectors found evidence that the trust had taken action in relation to recently publicised concerns about staffing levels and patient care and had put steps in place to ensure patient safety in this area.

"However, some concerns were identified by our inspectors about the level of support given to hospital staff, the trust's monitoring of its quality of service provision, safety, availability and suitability of equipment, and cleanliness and infection control.

"We have asked the trust to submit a plan stating how they will achieve full compliance and we will be monitoring their actions to ensure that the necessary improvements are made. If the improvements required are not made we will not hesitate to take further enforcement action"

– The Care Quality Commission

At the West Cumberland Hospital inspectors found that the Trust was meeting all six of the essential standards which were reviewed.

The Trust have been told where they must make improvements and CQC will be monitoring the actions taken by the Trust to ensure that the necessary improvements are made.

Inspectors will revisit the Cumberland Infirmary at a future date without giving any notice to check that the required improvements have been made.