latest health care news


North Cumbria patients ‘suffered harm’ due to delays, says CQC

Limited bed supply and delays in transferring patients in two north Cumbria hospitals have resulted in “several serious incidents” and some “suffering harm,” the CQC has reported.

The health inspectorate raised concerns following visits to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary and Whitehaven’s Cumberland Hospital, and said improvements must be made despite some progress.

Inspectors identified several serious incidents caused by patients not being transferred quickly enough to specialist wards, as well as a limited bed supply and nursing vacancies continuing to go unfilled.

The CQC report said: “We were not assured that the emergency department identified and responded quickly enough to deteriorating patients or patients with a number of conditions including sepsis, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and stroke.”

“The trust was aware of the problems and had implemented new processes, however these were yet to be embedded.”

The findings come after inspections of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust’s services in July and August 2018, and the trust has been rated by the CQC as ‘requires improvement.’

The chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said the trust had “not been able to consistently sustain the pace of improvements that we had previously seen.”

“I am concerned that the patient flow through Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital has deteriorated.

“Patients were left without treatment for too long in these hospitals’ urgent and emergency departments, which resulted in a number of serious incidents.

“However, patients’ feedback was positive and we saw that staff were providing compassionate care. Everyone was clearly working hard to deliver the best care they could under pressure.”

Responding to the report, chief executive the trust Stephen Eames said: “The report shows that we have made some significant improvements since the last inspection in 2017 despite the pressures our services are under.

“In particular, our surgery and maternity services have both received improved ratings of good which is fantastic news for our staff and patients.

“I said throughout the inspection that we were aiming for good and although we didn’t achieve this overall, we have made real progress which we should all be proud of.

“The fact that all services were rated as ‘good’ for caring is testament to our hard-working staff and I want to thank every one of them for the dedication they show day in, day out.”

Image credit - Simon Ledingham


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Turning blue lights green

11/04/2019Turning blue lights green

Polly Billington, director of UK100, a cities network that campaigns on env... more >
Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10/04/2019Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospital... more >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Our Health Heroes

16/04/2019Our Health Heroes

Dean Royles, strategic workforce advisor at Skills for Health and co-author of ‘An Introduction to Human Resource Management,’ discusses the upcoming Our Health He... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >