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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > North Cumbria's hospitals on track for a stronger future

North Cumbria's hospitals on track for a stronger future

Posted on Thursday 17th May 2012

Dr Neil Goodwin, Interim Chief Executive

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has ended a challenging year in a much stronger position having maintained patient quality standards, delivered on almost all performance and waiting list targets and achieved a much better financial turnaround programme.

The Trust, which manages the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital, is expecting to see further significant improvements in the coming 12 months as it prepares for acquisition.

Some of the Trust’s key achievements during the last year include:

  • One of only four hospital trusts in the North West to have had zero healthcare-associated MRSA infection at either hospital in the last year. The last reported case was in May 2010
  • Praise for the provision of care given to older patients in relation to privacy, dignity and nutrition following an unannounced Care Quality Commission visit to both hospitals
  • A new Heart Centre opened at the Cumberland Infirmary offering a brand new service to prevent 700 patients from having to travel out of Cumbria for investigation and treatment
  • The Trust was the lead provider in the development of a 24/7 365 day stroke service which links eight hospitals in the region and provides better outcomes for stroke patients
  • The Trust was named one of the top 40 Hospital Trusts for the third year running by CHKs, the leading independent provider of healthcare intelligence to the NHS
  • The Trust was commended for being fully compliant with national requirements for delivering same-sex accommodation for over a year
  • The redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital moved forward with the approval of the final business case by NHS North of England

The Trust achieved a surplus of £1 million after strategic financial support. This has allowed the Trust to continue to repay historic debts and loans. Plans are now in place to reduce reliance on external financial support by £9 million in 2012/13 to further improve financial independence. These improvements are based upon delivering efficiency and economy without impacting on the provision of the highest quality and safe patient care.

Dr Neil Goodwin, Interim Chief Executive, said: “North Cumbria has had a reputation in the past of being poorly managed and unable to deliver to its share of national NHS efficiencies. Our success in the last year is proving that the Trust’s historical reputation is now both inaccurate and unfair.

“We have set up a Project Management Office to oversee improved financial management without adversely affecting the quality and safety of patient care.

“Our staff have generated over 200 innovative ideas where efficiencies can be made without impacting on our services and patient care. The development of our new Heart Centre and Telestroke not only deliver better patient care but also bring income into the Trust.

“A big part of our plans for the coming year is to repatriate more services that are currently being provided outside Cumbria and bring them into the county to provide a much more local service for our patients. This is already working with more patients currently being treated.

“Of course there will always be improvements to be made but we have shown over the last 12 months that we can do this and this has placed us into a much stronger position as we move forward towards acquisition.”

The Trust has set out its strategic objectives for the coming months, one of which is to see the commencement of building work in the redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital following approval by the Department of Health and the Treasury. We anticipate building work commencing in July 2012.