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

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Home > News > North Cumbria Trust making a record move

North Cumbria Trust making a record move

Posted on Wednesday 25th May 2016
Medical records team

Medical records team

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is modernising the way it stores patient medical records, which will lead to an improved and more cost effective service.

From Tuesday 31 May, more than 357,000 sets of notes will be moved from the Cumberland Infirmary (CIC) and West Cumberland Hospital (WCH) to a new single facility in Kingmoor Park, Carlisle. Medical records staff will remain at WCH.

The move will not only mean this vital service will be housed in a more appropriate environment, but it will achieve long-term savings. The move means there has also been a new intake of staff, including 20 team members, a new team leader at WCH and a new manager at Carlisle.

In 2014, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that outpatient services at both hospital sites were rated as ‘inadequate’ under the safe domain, largely due to issues around the timely supply of up-to-date medical records to outpatient clinics. The Trust then carried out a significant amount of work in order to improve outpatient services including the opening of a new Contact Centre, which along with other improvements,  resulted in more ‘good’ ratings for the service in the 2015 inspection. The inspection team noted that performance had improved by over 20% in the year period with over 95% of patient records available for appointments. It was also noted by the CQC that with a clearer plan and vision for the service (including the relocation of the department), staff were very positive and feel supported.

The new facility will replace the Port Road store in Carlisle, which is no longer fit for purpose. It will also replace the basement stores at WCH which are located in a part of the site that is planned for demolition.

Helen Ray, executive chief operating officer at the Trust, said: “I am very pleased that we have not only modernised a vital service, but we have also retained our staff in Whitehaven, minimising the impact on our workforce.

“The new facility is larger than previous sites and will allow the teams to continue to improve the availability of notes for clinics and admissions. There will be frequent deliveries throughout the day during the working week and twice daily delivery of urgent notes on weekends and bank holidays.

“The good news is that during the well-planned move, notes will be made available both from the old libraries and from the new facility so there should be no disruption to service.”