BOSSES at the NHS trust which runs Furness General Hospital (FGH) have launched an external review into its orthopaedic services, The Mail can exclusively reveal.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT) announced the review at a board meeting following a series of alleged incidents that were reported in connection with one of its orthopaedic departments.

Hospital chiefs said at the board meeting: “In April 2018 we observed a sudden rise in clinical incidents raised by clinicians at RLI [the Royal Lancaster Infirmary], hence we analysed those clinical incidences mainly at RLI and this highlights some concerns about two practitioners.”

The trust said it has “acted accordingly” in its response to the concerns raised and has launch a full review of its services at RLI, FGH and Westmorland General.

Hospital chiefs said at the board meeting: “We have acted on those concerns through our governance process conducting RCA (root cause analysis) and rapid reviews and acted accordingly. We also reviewed the clinical incident rate over the last five years, claims, patient complaints, number of surgeries done, 30 day mortality and new to follow up ratios for the whole department.

“As a result of this analysis a formal process has been established to ensure the level of competence and level of activity matched through appropriate restriction of practices through maintaining high professional standards policy (MHPS). We have given feedback to individual clinicians and also informal reconciliation has been done as we observed behaviour and communication which does not comply with the trust behavioural standards policy.”

Former MP for Barrow, John Woodcock, said: "There will likely be great scrutiny applied to how UHMBT handles any investigation conducted into its hospital departments after the terrible shortcomings revealed to have taken place in the way they handled the concerns raised over the trust's urology services by Peter Duffy.

"Hopefully there is a significant improvement in the handling of these concerns."

Dr Shahedal Bari, medical director at UHMBT, said: “The trust provides services for orthopaedic patients across the Bay. Trauma and orthopaedic doctors diagnose and treat the musculoskeletal system. This includes bones, joints, muscles and nerves. We systematically analyse all incidents and report through our governance process to the quality committee, however to reassure our clinicians and board about our practice, and in line with standard NHS practice, we have commissioned an external review by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, to ensure that the actions we are taking are appropriate and make sure any learning from the review could be acted upon to improve our services.”

The trust’s council of governors will hold a public meeting on December 10 at the Junction 36 auction mart in Kendal to discuss the matter.