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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Trust which runs south Cumbria hospitals has been put into special measures

THE NHS trust which runs south Cumbria’s hospitals has been officially rated as inadequate and has been put into special measures.

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Furness General Hospital

The trust, which runs Furness General Hospital, Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Westmorland General Hospital, will now be “buddied up” with another high performing trust.

The rating comes on the back of a series of inspections across the three sites by the Care Quality Commission in February.

The final decision to put the trust into special measures was taken by government health regulator Monitor, which confirmed it would follow the recommendations of the CQC and introduce a package of measures to “turn the trust around.”

As part of special measures Monitor will appoint an improvement director, whose role will be to provide support and expertise but also to hold the trust to account.

Monitor said the trust has been in breach of its licence to provide healthcare services since October 2011 and Monitor has taken a number of steps to secure improvements in A&E and maternity services which has been recognised by the CQC inspection team.

Adam Cayley, regional director at Monitor, said: “The trust has co-operated with Monitor in making some improvements in recent years, but the Chief Inspector of Hospitals has reported on wider failings in care that must be addressed.

“The level of care and the quality of senior leadership at this trust has not been good enough, that’s why we’ve put Morecambe Bay into special measures.

“The pressure is on to turn things around for its patients, but the trust will receive extra support and guidance as it starts to address the many issues it faces.”

Monitor also said that if improvements are not made, further action will be taken. 

Overall the trust was rated inadequate by the CQC, while FGH and RLI “required improvement” and WGH was rated “good”.

Inspectors acknowledged that care in some services, such as maternity and A&E, had improved since previous inspections, but despite concerns previously being raised by the CQC care had still not been addressed effectively in other areas.

Chief executive of the trust, Jackie Daniel, said: “We are all incredibly disappointed to receive the overall rating for the Trust.

“The reports reflect the fact that we are part-way through a process of significant improvement which is still going to take a number of years to complete.

“It isn’t an overnight job to change the culture of a large complex organisation but through the hard work and commitment of our staff, governors and partners, our hospitals are now much safer, with improved standards of care in a number of areas from two years ago when we started to turn them around.”

Full reports of the inspection have been published on the CQC website: http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RTX

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