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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

Patients recalled to hospital over infection scare

Hundreds of patients at a Cumbrian hospital are going to have to be tested for infections after equipment that had not been cleaned properly was used in a routine test.

North Cumbria NHS Trust has written to 357 patients who had an endoscopy procedure at the Cumberland Infirmary between 20 May and 19 June.

Hospital bosses say the risks of infection are very low but are urging patients that may be affected to contact a dedicated helpline.

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North Cumbria Hospitals Trust referred to health secretary

Two hospitals in North Cumbria have been referred to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for failing to deal with mounting debts.

The trust has been referred to the Health Secretary over financial concerns Credit: ITV News Border

The North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust was one of 19 flagged up to Jeremy Hunt for not meeting its statutory duty to break-even in the last financial year.

The trust runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

Trust still in special measures despite hiring more staff

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will remain in special measures.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and the midwifery-led birthing service at Penrith Community Hospital in April and May.

They concluded the Trust has not met the required standards to get out of special measures.

The decision was announced in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Jeremy Hunt says that the Trust is improving but shadow health minister Andy Burnham claims the problems have been caused by cuts to staffing levels.

Trust 'needs longer' to show progress can be 'sustained'

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will remain in special measures.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and the midwifery-led birthing service at Penrith Community Hospital in April and May.

They concluded the trust hadn't met the required standards to get out of special measures.

Sir Mike Richards is the Chief Inspector of Hospitals:

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Four key areas of trust 'require improvement'

The trust that runs two of our biggest hospitals will remain in special measures after an inspection by the healthcare watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission rated the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - which runs the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle - in five key areas.

The care provided by staff at the trust was described as good.

But in the four other areas: safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership - it was found to need improvement.

And that gave the trust an overall rating as needing improvement too.

The Trust says they've made important progress. Katie Hunter has this report:

Royal College of Nursing praises trust's front-line staff

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has praised the front-line staff at the troubled North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have released a report today outlining into the organisation, which runs Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland hospital in Whitehaven.

It says the Trust needs to make more that it is providing a caring service to patients, something the RCN agrees with.

“It is great to see that the CQC are recognising all the hard work that front-line staff have delivered to try to turn around the trust. It is certainly true that Cumbria’s front-line nurses and health care assistants are incredibly dedicated and hard-working, and they are committed to delivering the highest quality care, day and night.

“However, we note that the CQC are recommending that the trust stays in special measures. As the CQC has said, trust management still have a long way to go before they can be said to have resolved the ongoing problems at the trust."

– Glenn Turp, regional director of the RCN Northern Region

Trust's Medical Director 'shares' staff's 'disappointment'

The North Cumbria Hospitals Trust requires improvement, and should remain in special measures, according to the body which regulates healthcare in England.

The Care Quality Commission has released a report into the organisation which runs Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland hospital in Whitehaven.

The report says while improvements have been made in several areas, it's not enough to be freed from special measures.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, Medical Director of the North Cumbria University Hospitals spoke to ITV Border about the report:

Trust staff 'under no illusions' of work still to be done

"I am immensely proud of our staff who have been recognised by the CQC for the care and compassion they show our patients every single day in very challenging circumstances.

“We are also very pleased to see many examples of good services within the CQC report and of course welcome the extra scrutiny on where further improvements still need to be made right across our organisation so that the Trust can be taken out of special measures.

“We are under no illusions on the work that still needs to be done..."

– Ann Farrar, Chief Executive of orth Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
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