AN MP has said a hospital trust has to deliver 'sustained and embedded change' 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

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

Barrow and Furness MP, Simon Fell, said report findings show the UHMBT attempted to 'promote only the good following the maternity scandal'.

He said: "Repeatedly the toxic mix of a broken team, poor leadership, and a desire to promote only the good following the maternity scandal comes up [in the Niche report].

"That has to change. Niche have made clear and balanced recommendations in their report.

"It is now for the trust leadership to deliver sustained and embedded change to restore trust with the community, patients and families."

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.”

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

It said UHMBT should have 'more consistently responded to concerns raised about the competency and conduct of all urology consultants'.

The report said the trust should have followed its own internal investigation and grievance policies and ensured investigations 'were thorough and wide-ranging'.

"The trust and division should have supported working practices which emphasised the importance of doctors keeping their skills and knowledge up-to-date, with an open approach to reporting and tackling concerns about clinical practice," said the report.

"Personal and team accountabilities should have been made clear.

"There should have been more comparative audits of the urology consultants’ practice."

The report said that, 'fundamentally', UHMBT should have used 'all available opportunities' to 'investigate concerns in a precise manner to validate concerns or allegations'.

"This would have enabled fair challenge, robust defence or appropriate referrals to be made at the right time in support of staff," it said.