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Trust improving but still in special measures

The troubled North Cumbria Hospitals Trusts requires improvement, and should remain in special measures.

That's according to the Care Quality Commission which has released its latest report into the organisation, which runs Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland hospital in Whitehaven.

The report says that whilst improvements have been made in several areas, there's not been enough progress to get out of special measures.

Staff crisis at West Cumberland Hospital

Managers at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust say they're facing some "immediate and very real" recruitment problems in Whitehaven.

The West Cumberland Hospital will lose its three remaining junior doctors in August and a recent recruitment campaign has so far failed to fill 11 of 13 available posts.

Managers have now taken the unusual step of writing to other trusts in the North of England to try to fill the gaps in the short term.

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North Cumbria plea to NHS trusts for staff

Managers at North Cumbria University Hospitals trust say they are facing some "immediate" problems with staff shortages at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Bosses have written to other trusts in the North East and North West of England to try to plug the gaps short-term.

The West Cumberland Hospital will lose its three remaining junior doctors in August which will make current staff shortages worse.

“We are facing some immediate problems in terms of our acute care medical rota at West Cumberland Hospital and we want to be transparent and open with all of our stakeholders about this.

“We have today written to all chief executives in the North East and North West to request any interim support they may be able to give us in August in order to ensure continuity of care for our patients.

“There is no escaping some of the very real recruitment challenges we face as a Trust and we are committed to working through these and making sure all of our patients, staff, the public and other stakeholders are kept fully up to date with progress."

– Dr Jeremy Rushmer, Medical Director, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

New NHS Trust Chair 'impressed' by hospital staff

Gina Tiller has spoken after it was announce that she has been appointed as the new Chair of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

“I have been impressed with the commitment, determination and drive I have witnessed to date, from the staff who are working tirelessly to deliver the best possible safe care to patients.

"I am confident that we will continue to improve the services we provide to patients, in a way builds confidence within our local communities. In doing so, this will also prepare the organisations for acquisition by Northumbria Healthcare.

"I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders to shape a positive future for North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust."

– Gina Tiller, Chair of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

New chair for North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust

Gina Tiller has been appointed as Chair of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust Credit: North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Gina Tiller has today been appointed as the new Chair of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The announcement was made by NHS Trust Development Authority.

Ms Tiller has stood in as Interim Chair of the Trust since 1 February 2014. She is a former nurse, research officer and visiting lecturer at Northumbria University.

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West Cumberland Hospital accepts liability for a mother's death

A Cumbrian NHS Trust has admitted liability for a mother's death in childbirth. But following a High Court ruling in London it will not have to compensate her son for his disabilities.

The North Cumbria Hospitals Trust admitted that the mother died from negligent care at the West Cumberland Hospital in 2002.

Her son, who's now 11, will need care for the rest of his life. But the judge concluded that his injury was not a result of negligence.

Report raises concerns over North Cumbria Health Trust

A new report by the Care Quality Commission has placed North Cumbria Health Trust in the bottom band of hospital trusts in the country.

The findings are based on data that includes death rates, serious errors and patient surveys.

13 risks were identified at the North Cumbria trust, including 10 that were elevated.

These included "never events" of incidents that should never happen in NHS hospitals, higher than expected death rates and issues over the time patients waited for treatment.

The report will act as a screening tool to identify which trusts need the most rapid CQC inspections and where inspectors need to focus their attention.

Stroke victim sent home by doctor in Cumbria

A stroke victim was sent home from a Cumbria hospital by a doctor because "no stroke unit was available", according to an NHS report.

The patient was discharged by a locum doctor from one of the hospitals run by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, according to the trust's board papers.

An investigation has been launched by the trust's medical director into the process for appointing agency locum medical staff.

The locum in question no longer works at the trust, according to the document.

There were also three other "serious" patient incidents during June at the trust, which runs Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and a midwifery-led service at Penrith Community Hospital.

One patient was operated on after mistakenly being given a local instead of a general anaesthetic.

Medics missed a "mass" which should have been spotted on a chest X-ray of another patient.

And a consultant coughed during a procedure which resulted in a patient moving - which they claimed "affected the clinical outcome".

The trust is one of 11 that was put put into "special measures" for "fundamental breaches of care" following a review into 14 trusts with higher than expected death rates.

The investigation, led by NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, found that none of the hospitals investigated was providing "consistently high-quality care to patients".

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