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  1. ITV Report

Lower deaths rate result of 'centralising complex surgery' at Cumberland Infirmary

Complex emergency surgery has been centralised at the Cumberland Infirmary. Photo: ITV Border

A reduction in the number of people who die in two of Cumbria's acute hospitals is the result of "centralising complex emergency surgery" in Carlisle, according to the local NHS Trust.

In 2015/16 at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital, 101 people died after hospital treatment or within 30 days of discharge from hospital.

Over the past three years the average was 99, below the UK average of 100.

Another measure, which records deaths in hospital based on certain conditions, recorded an average of 105 deaths per year at hospitals run by the North Cumbria Trust.

Both recordings put the Trust in the 'as expected' category, an improvement on 2011 when it was placed into Special Measures because of the large number of deaths at its hospitals.

Campaigners have held a number of protests this year, against what they see as the stripping of healthcare services from West Cumbria.

However, Rod Harpin, medical director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, says moving complex emergency surgery from the West Cumberland Hospital to the Cumberland Infirmary is one of the main reasons for the lower mortality figures.

The latest figures demonstrate the Trust has successfully sustained our lower mortality rates meaning less people are dying in our hospitals than in previous years.

One of the main reasons we have achieved this is by centralising complex emergency surgery from West Cumberland Hospital to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. In addition, the introduction of our Primary PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) service in the Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary has reduced deaths for cardiac conditions for people living across West, North & East Cumbria.

– Rod Harpin, medical director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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