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MP Tim Farron has today called for urgent change in the wake of a damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NH Trust (UHMBT). He has called for a speeding up of changes at the trust, ensuring that we never end up in this situation again.
The CQC will today publish its full investigation report into UHMBT. The CQC began their investigation on 17 January 2012, and evidence gathering took place from January to March 2012.
The reports major findings include:
· Lack of leadership and clinical direction within the trust. Complete disconnect between management and clinicians.
· Under staffing in accident and emergency and maternity units.
· Extremely long waits in accident and emergency units. Patients left too long without being checked on.
· Frequent patient transfers between hospitals within the trust.
· Lack of concern for patient dignity. Not enough separation of male and female patients.
· Too many late discharges.
· No culture of learning from incidents.
· Refusal to accept the situation by the trust’s management board, despite of the failings systems.
· Failed to learn from concerns raised in 2008-09 when they had the chance.
· No identification of staff training needs.
This report follows recent revelations that UHMBT withheld information that could have led to regulators discovering the major failings within the trust sooner, following a probe commissioned by foundation trust regulator Monitor. A delayed appointment may have been a factor in a patient’s death. A senior manager, Dr Nasmyth at the trust told the North West Evening Mail: “We are aware of one patient who had a delayed appointment, and by the time their problems came to light their disease had progressed to a point where our intervention could do nothing to improve the quality or the duration of their life – and clearly that may have been different had their scheduled appointment been on time."
The MP said: “This damning report sadly shows what happens when you send all South Lakes patients to hospitals that weren't designed to cope. The previous management didn't listen to medical staff and didn't listen to the public either. That's why they made such bad decisions, such as closing our heart unit at Westmorland General Hospital. Simply put, the previous management were not fit to run a medial trust.
“One problem the report particularly highlights is the fact that large, rural, multi-hospital trusts simply cost more money to run safely. Our trust has been under resourced for more than a decade now. The NHS commissioners must recognise this and provide a more realistic funding settlement. 'It gives us no satisfaction to say 'we told you so'."