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Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust set for special measures

The Chief Inspector of hospitals in England has recommended that the NHS trust that runs the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal be placed into special measures.

The Westmorland General was found to be providing a good overall service Credit: ITV Border

It follows a series of inspections that found that the quality of care at two of its hospitals needed improvement, although the Westmorland General itself was providing a good service overall.

The county's two other main hospitals are already in special measures.

Morecambe Bay Trust caused 'unnecessary stress'

The NHS trust which runs the Westmorland General in Kendal has been criticised for a lack of openness and honesty, following the death of a baby at its hospital in Barrow.

The Health Ombudsman says Morecambe Bay Trust caused unnecessary stress in the way it handled complaints over the avoidable death of Joshua Titcombe. He died at Furness General in 2008.

The Ombudsman upheld two complaints from the family. They concerned inappropriate emails between Trust staff, and the adequacy of the investigation into Joshua's death.

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NHS trust criticised after baby's death

The NHS trust which runs the Westmorland General in Kendal has been criticised for a lack of openness and honesty, after the death of a baby at its hospital in Barrow.

The Health Ombudsman says Morecambe Bay Trust caused unnecessary stress in the way it handled complaints over the avoidable death of baby Joshua Titcombe.

He died at Furness General in 2008. The Ombudsman upheld two complaints from the family.

Woman sent to prison for making hoax bomb calls

A woman from Bradford has been sent to prison for making a number of hoax calls to places across the country - including in Cumbria - reporting bombs being on the premises.

48-year-old Jacqueline Hustler made calls to three places across the region on 29 October; at the Marks and Spencer in Kendal, Millom Hospital and the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.

All three reported that they had received a phone call to say that there was a bomb in the building.

In the call to Marks and Spencer in Kendal, Hustler called herself Marcus Cartwright and alleged a bomb had been planted in the store.

She also said that the person responsible was still on the premises holding a member of staff and a young child hostage.

The 48-year-old was arrested by West Yorkshire Police following her identification as a result of work carried out by detectives in Cumbria - and was subsequently sentenced to three and a half years at Bradford Crown Court for communicating false information with intent.

Full Report: Cumbrian MP speaks out against hospital cuts

A Cumbrian MP has told the government that 30 million pounds of cuts planned at the trust which runs Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital are "ludicrous".

Tim Farron met the Hospitals Minister, Dan Poulter, after hearing that the cuts have to be made in the next year.

Mr. Farron says the hospital is suffering because of mistakes by the previous management.

Watch the full report from Tim Backshall below.

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Cumbrian MP calls for apology

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called for an apology to all the local residents affected by the outpatients problems.

It's after the news that the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust has written to people whose outpatient follow-up appointments were delayed to tell them that their care may have been affected.

The trust, which has faced a series of reviews by health regulators Monitor and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and has seen a drastic change in leadership over the past few months. It has been criticised over its failure to follow up on outpatient appointments.

The problem with delays in outpatient follow-up appointments at the Trust was highlighted last year. Around 19,000 people had their outpatient appointment delayed and an extra 1,100 clinics were put on to help the backlog. In a statement Mr Farron said:

"I would like to thank staff across all the hospitals for working so hard to clear the backlog and ensure patients are receiving the attention and treatment that they deserve. But I think the management need to take this opportunity to say sorry to the people who have been inconvenienced, concerned or affected by this.

"Now it is important that we continue to work with Monitor and the CQC to ensure that we get this trust back on track - providing the best possible care for all patients across the Morecambe Bay area."

– Tim Farron MP

Patient health affected by Morecambe Bay NHS Trust's delays

Westmorland General Hospital Credit: ITV Border

More than 600 people may have suffered as a result of delays in outpatient appointments at the hospitals run by the Morcambe Bay Hospital Trust, which includes the Westmorland General in Kendal.

The trust has contacted 19,000 patients who had their outpatient appointments delayed to explain that their care may have been affected.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust reviewed all outpatient appointments and found that 663 people may have been adversely affected as a result.

Sir David Henshaw, the interim Chair of the Trust, said: “It is unacceptable that these delays occurred. Local people are right to feel that they have been let down by this Trust in the past.

"The problems are being addressed. There is still a lot to do but I want to be clear: providing safe, high quality patient care will always be our priority. We will not preside over unsafe services."

Health group welcomes improvement plans

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Dr Colin Wilkinson, South Lakes Helath Action Group Credit: ITV Border

Dr Colin Wilkinson from South Lakes Health Action group said they welcomed the appointment of Sir David Henshaw.

He said: 'Sir David has an impressive CV and reputation. I'm pleased to hear he wants to work with us but I didn't send a letter a month ago with no reply

'Hopefully he will be in touch soon. There does need to be change and I agree it may take a couple of years to get right and we wish him all the best.'

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