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


Home > News > North Cumbria's A&E departments continue to improve according to a national survey

North Cumbria's A&E departments continue to improve according to a national survey

Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017
North Cumbria's A&E departments continue to improve according to a national survey

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) national 2016 A&E patient survey has shown significant improvements for the Accident & Emergency departments in both the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle (CIC) and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven (WCH) for the second year in a row.

The hospitals, run by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trusts, performed better than a majority of Trusts when it came to waiting times and showed important improvements in six questions, including doctors and nurses engaging with patients and explaining treatment options and involving the patient in any decisions.

The Trust scored in the top 20% of Trusts on 27 out of 35 questions, with an average score of 8.4 out of 10 in overall experience and 9.2 out of 10 for treating patients with respect and dignity. No questions scored in the bottom 20% of Trusts.

The CQC surveyed 416 people between October 2016 and March 2017. The results of the survey will be used in the regulation, monitoring and inspection of the Trust.

The Trust has been working hard over the past 30 months to put many improvements in place to increase patient flow through the A&E.  The Trust is consistently performing better than the national average against the emergency care standard, which states 95% of patients should be seen, treated, admitted or discharged from A&E in under four hours.  The national average for all trusts in August was 85.4% and the Trust’s overall performance as at 90.6% for the 8,000 patients who attended the Trust’s two A&E departments.

Just last month, the A&E team at CIC completed an intensive improvement workshop and saved up to 600 hours of time a year to dedicate to patient care. The team were selected to take part in a Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW) which is supported by the Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative (CLIC) who focus on positive transformations in health and care.

Despite the positive results in the latest CQC report, the Trust is aware there are still improvements to be made. One comment left by a patient taking the survey highlight a problem of a long wait for medication after being seen by the doctor.  A recent action item from the RPIW was for the pharmacy team to review medicine management and look to create a dedicated area in A&E for drug preparation.

George Wright, Head of Nursing for Patient Experience says, “being in the top 20% of Trusts for 27 out of 35 questions is an excellent achievement.”

“We know all too well that our A&E staff all work under considerable pressure and the results of the survey are an absolute credit to them. The teams at both our hospitals are making significant progress in working to provide a safe, caring and compassionate service in West, North and East Cumbria.”

“The survey provides us with extremely important feedback on areas where we can further improve which we will be taking immediate steps to review.”