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NHS Trust responds to nursing union's criticism

The trust has responded. Credit: PA

A Cumbrian NHS Trust has responded to claims that nurses in the county's hospitals are under severe pressure, and that morale is low.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital, says staff are encouraged to raise their concerns:

Our staff are our most valuable asset and, as a leadership team, we absolutely appreciate the challenges our nurses at both of our hospital sites face every day and we work hard to tackle any concerns regarding staffing levels and low morale.

The senior nursing team very much encourage staff to raise any concerns they may have with us directly and we have a weekly meeting to address any issues with staffing levels and any concerns regarding nurse staffing on our wards. We are continually working to address our recruitment difficulties and have recently appointed 52 registered nurses of which 34 are local student nurses.

The Trust launched its first Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Strategy in December 2014 to give staff the opportunity to set out our priorities and commitments for the next three years. The strategy was recognised in the latest CQC report with the inspection team noting that all of the nursing staff they spoke to could tell them about the strategy and the impact it will have on them in the future. Over 500 members of staff got involved in creating the strategy and work is ongoing to ensure it is translated into real change on the ground.”

– Gail Naylor, director of nursing & midwifery at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust


Protest planned for West Cumberland Hospital opening

The new West Cumberland Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

Protestors will demonstrate outside the new West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, when it opens to the public for the first time.

Public open days are scheduled for September 24 and 25, and the leader of campaign group We Need West Cumberland Hospital says they have organised a demonstration on Thursday 24.

The group is against the transfer of services, and patients, to other hospitals, like the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Siobhan Gearing, the campaign leader, says the NHS Trust still isn't listening to them:

We want to show that the public are still here, and we need to be taken into consideration.

The Trust are still not listening to the needs of the public, who are affected by changes to West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary.

W want service users to come along and show that we need the services we once had, and for the Trust to say publicly that they are willing to make changes for the good of West Cumbria."

– Siobhan Gearing, campaign leader

What's inside the new West Cumberland Hospital?

An operating theatre inside the new hospital. Credit: ITV Border

Find out what's inside the new £90 million West Cumberland Hospital.

Key facilities:

  • 169 beds
  • 10 operating theatres including one that uses a laser for operations
  • 162 extra parking spaces

Inside the new hospital:

  • Level 2 - sterile services, pathology, pharmacy, catering
  • Level 3 - a number of units including A&E and Cumbria Health on Call
  • Level 4 - a number of units including operating theatres and maternity services

Inside the retained building, which is being redeveloped:

  • Level 2 - mortuary, chapel, chemotherapy
  • Level 3 - a number of units including cardiology and respiratory
  • Level 4 - women's outpatients, day assessment area for maternity, postnatal ward and elderly care ward
  • Level 5 - Copeland unit, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy

You can find the full list of services in the West Cumberland Hospital, which opens on 8 October, here.

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