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Warnings issued to Morecambe Bay trust

Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust has been issued two warnings by the CQC Photo: ITV Granada

Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trusts has been issued with two further warnings to improve standards in care or face further action.

The health regulator has told the trust is must take action to improve patient monitoring and ensure patients aren’t placed in mixed sex accommodation.

Debbie Westhead, North West Regional Lead for the Care Quality Commission said:

“As part of our investigation into emergency care, our inspectors found failings in the way that patients are monitored at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General. We also noted that patients are not always afforded privacy and dignity and are placed on mixed sex accommodation in the clinical decisions unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

“We have served these warning notices because these are matters the trust needs to put right without delay.”

The inspectors found one patient wasn’t observed for over two hours when they were transferred to a surgical assessment unit. A senior nurse said they would expect half hourly observations to be carried out, to ensure a patient’s condition didn’t deteriorate.

Sir David Henshaw, Chair, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust was appointed by the regulator Monitor to lead the changes at the trust. He said the level of care, safety and experience that the investigators recently identified in some cases were ‘completely unacceptable’.

Sir David said

“A considerable amount of work is already underway and we are developing a comprehensive recovery plan for the Trust and when this is complete I look forward to discussing it with local people, our staff and other stakeholders.”

“In their on-going investigation the CQC has made us aware of a number of additional problems including staff shortages and other areas of concern about care related to assessment, observation, record keeping and privacy and dignity.

This is the latest in a series of damning inspections into patient care at the Morecambe Bay Trust. The trust’s former Chief Executive Tony Halsall recently stepped down from his post after what he described as "an extremely difficult time". Cumbria Police are still investigating a number of deaths at the baby unit at Furness General hospital.