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North Cumbria hospitals perform above national average for emergency care

The Trust’s overall performance was 92.6% in June and 93.2% in July Credit: ITV Border

Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven have ranked 31st out of 138 Trusts in England for Accident and Emergency performance.

The national standard is that 95% of patients should be seen, treated, admitted or discharged in under four hours. North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust's overall performance was 92.6% in June and 93.2% in July:

I would like to say ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to our staff. Our continually-improving national ranking is a real testament to the hard work our teams put in day in, day out in order to provide patients at both of our hospital sites with timely access to care."

– Helen Ray, Chief Operating Officer, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust

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Cumbria's NHS trust performs above national average despite 'requires improvement' rating

A&E department at West Cumberland Hospital Credit: ITV Border

The North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has been ranked 45 out of 138 trusts in England, for its Accident and Emergency performance.

The national average for all trusts in May 2017 was 84.6% and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust’s overall performance was 89.8%, above the average.

The national standard is that 95% of patients should be seen, treated, admitted or discharged from A&E in under four hours.

The most important message to take from this is remembering that behind these figures are our patients and local communities who both need and deserve excellent care. I am delighted to be able to share the news today that our continued focus on improvement is resulting in real progress and we will keep striving towards hitting the 95% standard.

– Stephen Eames, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive

The Trust’s two A&E departments in Carlisle and Whitehaven had 7,696 attendances in May 2017, equating to over 10 people every hour.

The North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is still rated as 'requires improvement' by the Care Quality Commission.

Royal College of Nursing praises staff for special measures turnaround

The Royal College of Nursing Northern region has praised the dedication of staff for taking North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust out of special measures.

The trust was under special measures for the last four years, but a report by the CQC has rated it as 'good' overall for providing ‘effective’ services.

“The CQC report highlights the need for the trust to do more work around recruitment of staff and this has been an issue continuously raised by the RCN, both within our strategic vision for clinical excellence in Cumbria launched two years ago as well as in our response to the West, North and East Cumbria Success Regime consultation, Healthcare for the Future.

“There is strong evidence that the number of registered nurses has a direct impact on patient outcomes and that high quality patient care can only be delivered with the right number of skilled professionals in the right settings.”

– Peta Clark, Operational Manager for the Royal College of Nursing Northern region

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Hospital bosses 'saddened' by woman's death

Police are continuing their investigations into the death of a woman in a Cumbrian hospital.

Officers were called in by the coroner after 44-year-old Sharon Grierson died at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle last Monday.

A spokesman for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said they were saddened by her death but add that it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of a 44-year-old patient and we wish to express our sympathy to the patient’s family.

"We cannot comment further about the circumstances surrounding the patient’s death due to the current police investigation."

– Spokesperson, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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
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