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New 'matron boards' unveiled in Cumbrian hospitals

The Cumberland Infirmary Credit: ITV Border

New boards designed to help patients and relatives to access help on hospital wards have been installed at two Cumbrian hospitals.

The 'matron boards' show who the ward matron is, a picture and how to contact them.

They are now in place at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital.

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Patient feedback boost for NHS Trust

The Trust runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. Credit: ITV Border

Feedback from patients suggests North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has improved.

A survey published by the Care Quality Commission was sent to inpatients at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, during 2015.

It found the Trust had improved its rating in 42 out of 63 questions, compared to the 2014 results.

Areas of improvement included:

  • Cleanliness of wards, toilets and bathrooms
  • The quality and choice of food
  • Consistency in communications with staff
  • Ability to discuss worries and concerns with staff
  • Doctors answering questions in an understandable way
  • Having confidence and trust in doctors and nurses
  • Staff taking home or family situation into account when discharging patients
  • Quick response when pressing call buttons

Compared to other NHS Trusts in the country, North Cumbria was rated as "about the same" in all of the categories of questioning.

Work is already underway to address some areas highlighted including ensuring patients and their relatives know how to raise concerns. We are busy installing posters and postcards in our wards this week with contact details for our matrons who can be contacted directly should anybody have any concerns about care they would like to raise.

– Maurya Cushlow, executive director of nursing

Hundreds sign petition against mental health ward closure

Tim Farron collects signatures in Kendal. Credit: Tim Farron.

More than 1,500 people have signed a petition against the closure of a mental health ward in Kendal.

The Kentmere Unit at the Westmorland General Hospital is to be closed from the end of June because a Care Quality Commission report found it didn't meet safety standards.

Local MP Tim Farron has set up a petition against the closure of the ward, and it was signed by more than 1,500 local people in the first week.

He says the CQC report did not call for the ward to be closed, and is urging Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to reconsider the closure.

The response to the petition shows that there is overwhelming public backing for the ward, and I will continue to fight against the closure.

The CQC’s report highlighted a number of issues about the physical environment at the ward, but it stopped a long way short of calling for the ward to close. Although certain improvements must be made, these services must not be taken away from South Lakeland.

– Tim Farron MP

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Man collapses on Lakeland fell

A 66 year old man is in a stable condition in hospital tonight after collapsing whilst walking near Keswick.

The walker from Newcastle suffered a heart attack on Blease Fell this afternoon. Keswick Mountain Rescue Team attended the scene and the patient was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle by the Great North Air Ambulance (Pride of Cumbria).

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