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New technology for NHS Trust in Cumbria

"Having this new technology, and the mobile technology that will be part of the system, will mean that wherever we are in Cumbria, whether we are in a community hospital or a patient's home or a clinic setting we will have access to the very latest, up to date information about that patients health, right at our fingertips, and we have never had that before. So it makes a difference to the patient, we have the most up to date prescriptions, assessment results that may have been done by colleagues, test results, right there when we see the patient when we need them."

– Mary Kiddy, Cumbria Partnership Trust

NHS Trust to invest in new technology

The Trust that runs the NHS in Cumbria has invested £10 million in new technology.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust hope the investment will lead to savings of £30 million in the future.

It will allow health providers to access patient information quickly. The Trust hope the new infrastructure will improve patient care.


A&E departments 'improving' in North Cumbria

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has improved. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Accident and emergency departments at West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary are improving, according to the Care Quality Commission's national patient survey.

The hospitals, run by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, showed improvements in six questions, including waiting times, opportunities for relatives to speak to a doctor and receiving prompt attention from staff when needed.

They were listed as 'average' in seven of the eight categories, and 'above' average in the eighth.

  • Arrival at A&E - 8.2/10 - Average
  • Waiting times - 7.0/10 - Above
  • Doctors and nurses - 8.4/10 - Average
  • Care and treatment - 8.0/10 - Average
  • Tests - 8.2/10 - Average
  • Hospital environment and facilities - 8.4/10 - Average
  • Leaving A&E - 6.1/10 - Average
  • Experience overall - 8.6/10 - Average

315 people who had attended one of the Trust’s A&E departments between January and March 2014 took the survey.

The results will be used in the regulation, monitoring and inspection of the Trust.

But, the Trust is aware that in recent weeks the 95% emergency care standard (patients being seen, treated and admitted or discharged from A&E within four hours) was not maintained, and dropped to 85% in October.

“We are delighted with the 2014 results, showing improvement in almost every area and being rated as one of the best performing hospitals in some areas, particularly for waiting times.

“Our emergency departments have been very busy in recent weeks, with high numbers of people attending and our clinical teams have consistently showed their dedication and commitment to their patients. The survey demonstrates real progress for the teams in both of our hospitals who are working hard to provide a safe, caring and compassionate service.”

– Dr Peter Weaving, clinical director for emergency care at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

'This will help to make our roads safer'

Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson visited Carlisle and Lockerbie today to meet with police and road safety officers.

He wants to make sure the message about the new legal limit, which will be reduced from 80 milligramms to 50 per 100 millilitres of blood, gets through to those who matter.

Jenny Longden reports.

Scottish police warn motorists ahead of drink-driving change

Police Scotland has released a video warnings motorists about the change in the law that will see Scotland have a lower drink-driving limit, drivers who have had a drink and cross the border are in danger of breaking the law.

Drivers both sides of Border warned 'Don't Drink and Drive'

Drivers North and South of the Border are being reminded of the new drink drive limit in Scotland on the 5th December.

From Friday, the limit in Scotland for drinking and driving will be zero tolerance. In England, it will remain the same.

Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson met with the Director of Road Safety Scotland, Michael McDonnell in Carlisle this morning to promote the message.

Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson speaks to Director of Road Safety, Michael McDonnell. Credit: ITV Border News


NHS Borders spending £2.5m a year on locum doctors

New figures released show that NHS Borders is spending nearly £2.5m a year on agency locum doctors, an increase of nearly £2m since 2009.

In total, NHS Borders has spent more than £5.6m since 2009 on temporary doctors to fill in staffing vacancies.

NHS Boards use locums to cover temporarily for periods of high demand or staff sickness, but are not seen as a long term solution. Agency locums tend to cost more than internal NHS locum doctors.

The news comes after NHS Borders announced it is considering closing local hospitals in Hawick, Duns and Kelso, as part of a cost cutting exercise.

“Clearly locums have their place in providing flexibility in times of demand. However, they are not a cost effective way of staffing hospitals.

“It is concerning that the bill for locums has gone up by nearly £2m in 4 years. This is not only a waste of money, but it means that staff will be increasingly unfamiliar with the hospital they are working in.

“It would be better for patients and better for costs to ensure that staffing is sufficient so as to reduce the need for so many locums. I am sure that NHS Borders will want to look closely at how they can reduce their agency bills. “

– John Lamont MSP

North Cumbria's hospitals poor performers in new stroke report

Hospitals across north Cumbria are among the worst in the country for the care of stroke patients, according to a new report.

The findings of the Royal College of Physicians rated Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary as the worst in the country with Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital assessed as being slightly better.

The information is about the care given between April ? June 2014. The hospitals were measured on a number of areas in stroke care including how quickly life saving treatment was delivered as well as the after care services such as speech and language therapy.

The final scores for each hospital in the North of England for April – June 2014 Credit: Royal College of Physicians

To achieve a high score on SSNAP a hospital must perform very well in each area of care, they also have to include all of their stroke patients on SSNAP and answer all of the questions in the audit fully.

This does not mean that their stroke services are unsafe but it does mean that these hospitals need to improve some aspects of care.

"Stroke care on both of our hospital sites has improved greatly over the past 10 years with falling mortality rates, a reduced length of stay and low numbers of patients requiring transfer to care homes after a stroke.

There are, however, further improvements which must be made to benefit our patients even further and make sure each and every patient has access to the very best stroke care 24/7. Our ambition is to implement full seven day working with seven day clinics and ward rounds which would require an increase in consultant staff. We are also aiming to increase our current thrombolysis rate to nearer the national average of 11% and decrease the time it takes to give thrombolysis to a patient, as well as improving the level of therapy patients receive as an inpatient."

– Dr Paul Davies, acute stroke physician for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
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