Latest CQC Rating for North Cumbria University Hospitals and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Issued on behalf of Stephen Eames, chief executive North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust & Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Services at the Cumberland Infirmary, West Cumberland Hospital and Penrith Birthing Centre were inspected in July and August and we now have the outcome of this inspection.

The overall rating for the Trust remains as requires improvement however we have made significant improvements since the 2017 inspection. More services are now rated as good overall and all services have been rated as good for ‘caring’. The inspectors highlighted the kind and compassionate care that all of our staff provide to patients, ensuring they are treated with dignity and respect.

The CQC inspected five services; urgent and emergency services, medical care, surgery, maternity and services for children & young people, as well as how ‘well led’ the organisation is. They consider how safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led services are and a rating is given for each as well as an overall rating for the service between inadequate, requires improvement, good and outstanding. Across the Trust, services were rated as follows:

  • Maternity: good
  • Medical care (including older people’s care): requires improvement
  • Services for children & young people: good
  • Surgery: good
  • Urgent and emergency services: requires improvement

Improvements were recognised in areas including surgery and maternity which are now both rated as ‘good’ which is a huge achievement. Services for children and young people retained their good rating from the 2017 inspection and are now rated as good in all areas assessed which is also excellent.

Our medical care and urgent & emergency services were both rated as requires improvement. This is reflective of the pressures felt in these services up and down the country and we are working closely with the teams to address the areas identified for improvement within the report. Several of these issues were highlighted during the inspection and have already been resolved and we have lots of plans in place to manage winter pressures which will also help address some of these concerns.

While we know we have improvements to make, I also want to highlight some of the areas of outstanding practice noted by the CQC:

  • Pressure ulcer reduction – Work as part of the Northern Region tissue viability collaborative has helped us to achieve a 61% reduction in pressure ulcers developing in hospital over the last two years
  • Disablement service – CIC is one of nine Disablement Services across England to provide enhanced services to veterans who have lost a limb because of their service in the armed forces
  • Reach Out delirium service – this innovative service has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of patients who develop delirium when staying in our hospitals and in turn has helped to reduce the average length of stay
  • Recruitment – several initiatives that have been introduced to address our recruitment challenges were recognised by the CQC. This included the composite workforce model through the recruitment of trainee advanced clinical practitioners and physician associates to support the medical workforce within surgery, a significantly reduction in the use of agency staff and the successful new recruitment campaign
  • Joint working – as we continue to develop Integrated Care Communities and work closer with partners across the health and care system it was encouraging that the CQC picked up on the positive impact this is already having. They were impressed by reductions in our average length of stay and delayed transfers of care as well as the work of the Home First teams in helping to prevent hospital admissions

The inspection also looked at how well led the trust is and how we use our resources. Both of these areas were rated as requires improvement but again lots of positive pieces of work were recognised, such as the way we work with partners and our clear strategy for the future.

I said throughout the inspection that we were aiming for good and although we didn’t achieve this overall, we have made real progress that we should all be proud of. We will continue to aim for good as we put plans in place to address the areas for improvement highlighted by the CQC and will continue to celebrate our successes.

Stephen Eames”