The Trust has had a difficult few years. A few days ago three junior doctors were removed from their posts at the West Cumberland Hospital because there weren't enough senior staff to support them. Staff shortages have previously been criticised and the Trust has also dealt with financial issues.
The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is working with the hospitals under a 'buddy' system of support. A planned takeover is currently on hold after the Cumbrian Trust was put into special measures. A £90 million redevelopment of the Whitehaven site is due to be completed later this year.
The Trust is entering a very exciting phase of development, delivering our safety and quality improvements and working very closely with our official buddy trustNorthumbria Healthcare.There can be no denying the historical problems we have faced with recruitment but we are genuinely excited about the opportunities which lie ahead, especially with the new West Cumberland Hospital opening and the overall positive direction which the organisation is now taking.
– Dr Jeremy Rushmer, Medical Director, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
A worldwide hunt is underway to recruit staff for two Cumbrian hospitals. The troubled North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust which runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven needs to hire dozens of Consultants, Doctors and Nurses.
The recruitment drive is being dubbed 'Looking for a fresh start' with hospital bosses hoping to attract more people like Consultant Paediatrician Dr Jason Gane, a South African who has just moved with his family from London to live and work in Cumbria
"One of the key priority actions from Keogh outlined the need for us to urgently review our staffing arrangements and we have been working closely with all partners to ensure a swift process for staff.
"It is vital that our frontline nursing teams have clear leadership and lines of accountability on the ward and also that our nurses have time to do what they do best and provide nursing care for patients.
"This new model, which will replicate the highly successful ward leadership model at Northumbria Healthcare means we can greatly improve the safety of care and experience of our patients."
– Chris Platton, acting director of nursing and quality, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
"Staffing levels is a key issue in North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust. This is shown by the reports published by the Care Quality Commission and the more recent Keogh Review.
"I am glad that the Trust is reacting quickly to the key points in the Keogh review and ensuring that there are safe levels of staffing is critical to improving care in our area.
"I wrote to Jeremy Hunt about staffing levels at the Trust last month and I have still not received a response. Ensuring safe staffing levels was a key recommendation in the Francis Report published in February and there has been no action from the Government, despite repeated calls to implement it from Labour.
"It is unacceptable and I’m glad that North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust is taking the lead on this issue.”
– Jamie Reed, Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister