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AGM for troubled Morecambe Bay NHS Trust

Furness General Hospital. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

The Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust holds its annual general meeting in Kendal on Thursday.

The Care Quality Commission placed the trust in "special measures" last year after concerns about its performance.

The AGM will take place at the Castle Green Hotel, at 2pm.

It's a chance for the public to hear about the past year, and question the trust's board members about the future.

Two reviews into the trust's performance have been published in the last year:

I am really looking forward to this Annual Members' Meeting as it will be the first since I joined the Trust as Chair.

Events like this are always one of the real highlights on the calendar for me as it gives us the perfect opportunity to talk directly to the public about what has been going on at the Trust, what achievements we've made, what challenges we've faced, and also what we are planning for the future.

It also enables the public to ask the Trust Board and the Council of Governors any questions they may have about their local hospitals.

I hope that as many people as possible will take the time to come along to the meeting and get involved."

– Pearse Butler, Chair, UHMBT


New calls for Morecambe Bay breast cancer review

A consultant studying a mammogram (Library) Credit: Press Association

A woman whose breast cancer was missed by the North Lancashire and South Cumbria breast screening programme is calling for an historic review of cases.

'Lisa' was given the all clear in 2005 after a routine mammogram. Six months later it emerged her cancer had been missed. She was 37 years old.

Lisa said she was devastated: "My confidence was just destroyed, I just thought how can that happen?

"I put all my trust in people to look after me and then they report I'm fine and less than six months later I'm not fine."

ITV news obtained figures earlier this year showing at least 14 other cases were missed between 2005 and 2011.

We reiterate the apologies we gave in 2007 to the lady concerned when her mammogram was incorrectly interpreted – as we appreciate this would have caused her additional worry at an already distressing time.

We would reassure Lisa and the public that a review of the Breast Screening Service by national experts from Public Health England in 2014 determined that the service is safe and there are no concerns about film reading in the unit, which meets national standards with good overall cancer detection rates.

– Dr David Walker, Medical Director of Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust

Breast screening unit safe but requires improvement

An investigation into the North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Screening Programme has highlighted "serious concerns" in relation to the management, working relations and audit culture.

The review concluded the service is safe but there must be a "significant review of processes" to ensure it stays that way.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust says it welcomes the report and will implement all of its findings. Katie Hunter has more:


Special Measures on the horizon for the Morecambe Bay Trust

Another of Cumbria's NHS Trusts has been told it's not up to scratch.

The Morecambe Bay Trust which runs the Westmorland General in Kendal is set to be placed into special measures.

A series of inspections found that the quality of care at their hospitals needed improvements, although the report said the Westmorland General itself was providing good overall care.

Kendal's hospital has come out the best but it runs fewer services than the Lancaster Infirmary and the Furness General.

That means many patients from this area are sent to Lancaster or Barrow. Fiona Marley Paterson been looking into what difference this will make to patient care.

Morecambe Bay NHS Trust 'taking note of the criticism'

The NHS trust which runs the Westmorland General in Kendal is to be placed into special measures.

It follows a series of inspections that found that the quality of care at two hospitals of the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust needed improvements, although the Westmorland General itself was providing a good service overall.

The county's two other main hospitals are already in special measures. Here's Fiona Marley Patterson.

Good quality of care is 'unlikely' without external help

"We undertook this inspection because Morecambe Bay has a history of problems relating to the quality of care and because on our monitoring it showed significant risks...

"Special measures means that we feel without external support this Trust is unlikely to be able to get to a position of delivering good quality care within a reasonable timescale...they will be "buddied" with another high performing trust so they can learn from that trust and in addition to that they will have a vigorous action plan that we will then monitor to make sure they are making progress within reasonable timescales."

– Spokesperson, Care Quality Commission

'Several ways' in which Trust needs to improve

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)says there are several ways in which the Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust needs to improve:

  • It needs to recruit more staff and the right staff.
  • It needs to report when things go wrong and make sure they don't happen again.
  • It needs better records and more assessment of its own performance.

The CQC have recommended the Trust be put into special measures, meaning the hospitals will get extra help to make the necessary improvement.

Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital has been named as providing a good over all service.

The county's other two main hospitals, run by the trust, are already in special measures.

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