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


Home > News > Care Quality Commission says 'improvements are being made' at North Cumbria's hospitals

Care Quality Commission says 'improvements are being made' at North Cumbria's hospitals

Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2013
cumberland infirmary

Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has welcomed the publication of the Care Quality Commission’s reports today following their unannounced inspections of the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven in September 2013.

The reports demonstrate that the Trust is making progress on its journey of improvement and change is beginning to happen. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that improvements were being made in all three areas assessed – staffing, care and welfare of people who use the services and records. West Cumberland Hospital was found to have ‘accurate and robust’ patient records and has now met this standard whilst action is still required to fully comply with staffing and care and welfare at both hospitals and records at the Cumberland Infirmary.

The inspections in September were follow-up visits to monitor progress after initial visits in spring 2013 to both hospitals found that they were non-compliant in the three areas. Following the initial visits and the Keogh Review in May 2013, the Trust put together detailed and robust action plans to ensure essential standards are met and patients in north Cumbria get the quality of care they deserve. The Trust is aiming to be fully compliant with the CQC standards by March 2014. The latest report from the CQC has acknowledged that the Trust is meeting the objectives outlined in the action plan and their overall level of concern has reduced as a result of this.

During the follow-up visits, the CQC said that they were ‘unable to identify a single patient who had not had their basic care needs met during this inspection’ and ‘all comments received were positive about the care received but some felt there was still room for improvement.’ Although, the Trust did not meet the care and welfare standard, it was noted that there were ‘significant improvements in provision of basic care in comparison to our earlier inspection.’

Many of the staff spoken to during the visit remained concerned about staffing levels but the ‘level of concern was not as high as it had been previously’ and ‘communication between the Chief Executive and senior staff had improved and staff working in wards and departments were more aware of how the Trust was trying to rectify problems’. It was felt that there are still not enough qualified and skilled staff to meet people’s needs but that strong efforts are being made to increase the Trust’s staffing establishments.

Mrs Chris Platton, acting director of nursing for the Trust, said: “We always welcome reports such as the Care Quality Commission’s as they give us a real opportunity to understand where we need to make improvements.

“We are pleased that the CQC has recognised the significant improvements and progress we are making across the Trust and that we are meeting the objectives we have set in our action plan. This is down to a lot of hard work and dedication from the staff in our hospitals and I would like to thank them for their on-going support through the challenging times we have had.

“Although improvements have been made, we recognise that we are still not fully compliant and our focus and commitment will remain on continuing to move in the right direction and focus on the most important part of our job which is to deliver high quality and safe patient-centred care.

“I am very positive about the future of our Trust and believe that, as we continue to work closely with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, we can succeed in providing excellent patient care in an environment that supports staff to achieve.”