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Matrons reintroduced in Cumbrian hospitals

New matrons are beginning work at the Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital today.

The positions were created after the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust was criticised by the Keogh review into higher than expected death rates.

The Trust has recruited 70 qualified nurses during the last 12 months to try and deal with previous failings.

"Keogh outlined the need for us to urgently review our staffing"

"One of the key priority actions from Keogh outlined the need for us to urgently review our staffing arrangements and we have been working closely with all partners to ensure a swift process for staff.

"It is vital that our frontline nursing teams have clear leadership and lines of accountability on the ward and also that our nurses have time to do what they do best and provide nursing care for patients.

"This new model, which will replicate the highly successful ward leadership model at Northumbria Healthcare means we can greatly improve the safety of care and experience of our patients."

– Chris Platton, acting director of nursing and quality, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust


Copeland MP: "Safe levels of staffing is critical"

"Staffing levels is a key issue in North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust. This is shown by the reports published by the Care Quality Commission and the more recent Keogh Review.

"I am glad that the Trust is reacting quickly to the key points in the Keogh review and ensuring that there are safe levels of staffing is critical to improving care in our area.

"I wrote to Jeremy Hunt about staffing levels at the Trust last month and I have still not received a response. Ensuring safe staffing levels was a key recommendation in the Francis Report published in February and there has been no action from the Government, despite repeated calls to implement it from Labour.

"It is unacceptable and Iā€™m glad that North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust is taking the lead on this issue.ā€

– Jamie Reed, Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister

Two Cumbrian hospitals begin review after Keogh report

Two Cumbrian hospitals have today started a review into nursing provision following critical comments in the Keogh Report.

North Cumbria Hospitals Trust are consulting with staff after being told they had to find ways to deliver better "safe and effective nursing care" at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital.

Among the proposals are dedicated ward managers and two senior nurses on every ward. The changes are due to start in October.

Wire left inside patient's body at Cumbrian hospital

An investigation is underway at the West Cumberland Hospital after a wire was left inside a patient's body following an operation.

The independent review will look into how this second incident, described as a 'never event', occured just a few months after a wire was left in another patient.

In total five incidents, including a possible patient suicide, are being looked at by health bosses at the North Cumbria Unviersity Hospitals Trust.

An update on the investigation is due at the next board meeting on July 23rd.

Full report: Cumbrian hospital criticised by CQC in new report

A Cumbrian hospital has been criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC carried out an unannounced inspection last month at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The report issued today criticises staffing levels, medical record keeping and the standard of care given to patients. The hospital has until mid-July to address the problems.

Kim Inglis reports.


"We are taking steps in the right direction" says health boss

The Acting Director of Nursing for North Cumbria University Hospitals, Chris Platton, says that changes have to be made, following the report by the Care Quality Commission:

"There can be no excuses for not meeting the expected standards set out in this report and unacceptable that both our staff and patients have historically endured standards of care which fall way below that of which any of us would expect from the NHS for our loved ones.

"The CQC has made a number of recommendations for action in the report which have already been addressed by the Trust since their visit in May.

"An action plan is also in place to ensure delivery of further significant improvements to patient care.

"The report does recognise that the Trust has already made improvements and this drive continues with vigour.

"There is no doubt that we are on a long journey relating to improving the quality of the services we deliver and the feedback, so far, from this inspection shows that we are taking steps in the right direction and beginning to make a difference.ā€

– Chris Platton, Acting Director of Nursing, North Cumbria University Hospitals

New report criticises West Cumberland Hospital

The West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven Credit: ITV News Border

The Care Quality Commission has released a critical report into the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The report highlights staffing levels, patient welfare and care and record keeping as areas of concern.

An unannounced inspection of the hospital was carried out in May.

Investigation underway into operating theatre report delays

Bosses at the West Cumberland Hospital have confirmed an investigation is underway into why there was a delay in actioning two reports about air quality at two orthopaedic operating theatres. The two theatres have been shut since Friday while emergency maintenance work is carried out.

One of the theatres is due to reopen today (Thursday). The Trust that runs the hospital says all hospital theatres are routinely checked and they're investigating why there was a delay in actioning two reports that were received. 19 patients have been affected by the closure.

We apologise again wholeheartedly to those patients whose operations have been affected by the temporary closure at Whitehaven but would like to reassure people that we took this action as a precautionary measure in the interests of patient safety.

– Jeremy Rushmer, Director of Clinical Transformation at North Cumbria University Hospitals

The Trust also announced the planned date for moving all complex, high risk orthopaedic surgeries, like hip fractures, to Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary has been brought forward from June. Patients will still return to Whitehaven for on-going care and rehabilitation.

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