AN NHS boss has apologised after a damning report identified more than 500 cases of actual or potential harm to patients at a trust’s urology department.

The independent investigation into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) was unable to conclude that patients within the trust's urology services were safe 'at all times in the last 20 years'.

The report, produced by consulting firm Niche, said 'there were clearly incidents that point to significant harms' and that '520 cases where actual or potential harm occurred' had been identified.

Aaron Cummins, UHMBT chief executive, said the trust 'fully' supported and accepted the findings of the report.

"On behalf of the trust, I would like to apologise to patients and families who have experienced any kind of harm or distress caused by the events chronicled in the report," he said.

"Some progress has already been made over the last couple of years and the trust will continue to ensure improvements are made as quickly as possible and are sustained.”

UHMBT runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

The report said a 'key concern' was a 'combined failure to consistently report and robustly investigate patient safety incidents'.