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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Fears over trust which runs Barrow hospital's ability to hit targets

A HOSPITAL trust’s ability to hit vital performance targets is “deteriorating” according to commissioners.

Nigel Maguire, chief officer at NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, told fellow governors at a meeting that University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s performance had fallen in recent months.

The CCG’s governing body discussed a performance report for February and March showing how the trusts it commissions services for performed against national NHS performance indicators.

Mr Maguire expressed concern that the trust, which runs Furness General Hospital and Royal Lancaster Infirmary, had slipped.

He said: “What we are seeing is North Cumbria University Hospitals is consistently under-performing. However UHMBT is also deteriorating in terms of these standards.

“We need to hold their boards to account.”

Mr Maguire said he intended to hold wall to wall meetings with the boards of both trusts to gain “assurances” about plans to rectify the problem.

According to the performance report, UHMBT is still struggling to achieve the 95 per cent standard of admissions to A&E being seen in less than four hours.

The report said: “UHMBT had achieved the standard in quarters two and three (last year) but did not achieve the standard in quarter four and continuing to struggle in 2014/15 with quarter one to May 4 achieving 93.3 per cent.”

The report also stated both trusts had failed to achieve the 30-minute standards for patients to be handed over from ambulance crews at A&E, and that UHMBT’s performance was “significantly worse” than NCUHT’s.

The report said there are urgent care recovery plans in place to tackle the problem, and a review of winter care initiatives – the time of year the A&E is under most pressure – has taken place.

UHMBT and NCUHT had also failed to hit the 18-week standard between patients being admitted to hospital and being referred for treatment.

The report noted that while UHMBT had hit the target for patients in Cumbria, it had failed to hit the overall target.

If targets fail to be achieved overall for a financial year, the CCG can be subjected to financial penalties from NHS England.

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