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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Fears for trust which runs Barrow hospital after a second boss quits role

FEARS have been raised the resignation of two senior health bosses within days could plunge a beleaguered hospital trust into turmoil and place services at risk.

John Cowdall, chairman of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Furness General Hospital, yesterday announced his plans to stand down after 17 months in his post.

Last week medical director George Naysmyth announced he is was to leave the trust.

Their departures come as the Care Quality Commission prepares to publish a report which is expected to be critical about the trust’s progress.

John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, yesterdat sought assurances from Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health, that the departures would not lead to services, including Barrow’s A and E unit, being put at risk.

Responding, the Secretary of State said he was committed to being “open and transparent’” in decision making on the future of local health services.

Mr Woodcock said: “Residents will be deeply concerned by news of another senior resignation at Morecambe Bay and worried this presages a period of turmoil at the trust which could leave the crucial health services at FGH under threat. They deserve a better response to those concerns than Jeremy Hunt’s half-hearted answer in the Commons: openness and transparency should be a bare minimum.

“We need a cast iron commitment to a retained A and E and other crucial services at Furness General.

“The news demonstrates why it is crucial we continue to fight for our local health services and to ensure that they are safe and offer the highest possible quality of care.”

A spokeswoman for the CQC said a “quality summit” will meet to discuss the report the week commencing June 16, and the report is expected to be published by the end of June.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, shared Mr Woodcock’s concerns.

He said: “I want to thank John for his hard work, service and commitment. I know how hard he has tried to turn this organisation around. I have seen some turnaround in the trust led by him, Jackie Daniel and her team.

“But I am worried about the CQC report as I’ve heard it does not show or acknowledge the progress that the trust has made.

“ I would like to know the reasons for that and what areas the trust are assessed as failing on. This report must be made public as soon as possible.

“But the most important lesson from all this must be that we keep a major medical hub at Westmorland General.”

Have your say

Barrow Borough Council should take over the hospital and its budget and John Woodcock should chair the management committee which should be made up of directly elected members.

Posted by John ashton on 11 June 2014 at 16:55

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