A new report has found the insertion and management of nasogastric tubes at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust to be safe, effective and well led.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published the report after an inspection at the Trust in July 2017.

This followed the findings of Her Majesty’s Coroner after an inquest in January 2017 into two patient deaths relating to misplaced nasogastric tubes.

The inspection took place across wards at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The team also checked the Trust’s progress with delivering an action plan in response to the coroner’s concerns.

Findings included:

  • Staff assessed the needs of patients and delivered care in line with existing policies.

  • Procedures were compliant with national best practice guidance.

  • There had been no serious incidents regarding nasogastric tubes since April 2015.

  • Clinical staff involved in the insertion of a nasogastric tube were now required to complete face to face training.

  • Clear processes were in place to manage the progress of the action plan developed in response to the coroner’s concerns.

The report also highlighted areas for improvement:

  • The trust should ensure the proposed new nasogastric insertion record for patient care plans is more detailed and contains more guidance as well as a summary of the reasons why the patient has one.

  • The trust should develop a specific policy around the use of nasogastric tubes for pregnant women.

The findings of the report conclude that the Trust remains rated as Requires Improvement overall.

Commenting on the report, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said:

We have rightfully spent a lot of time reflecting on the learning for the whole organisation following the deaths of two of our patients in order to ensure this does not happen again.

Dr Rod Harpin, Medical Director, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust