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Unsafe level of senior doctors and desperate shortage of nurses

Posted in: Medical Negligence NHS Claims 

Recent inspections have discovered the dangerously low levels of senior doctors within the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust. The health trust, criticised over its high death rates, was one of the 11 trusts placed under ‘special measures’ in 2013. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that while improvements have been recognisable, staffing issues remain unaddressed by the trust. 

Inspections were carried out at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, and the midwifery-led birthing service at Penrith Community Hospital between 31 March and 2 April this year. Inspectors noted that the trust was short of 50 consultants, with most of the available posts at the West Cumberland Hospital.

“inadequate” level of care

The report not only noted doctor shortages, but the inspectors found that there was a desperate shortage of nurses on the medical wards. The report concluded that these general staffing issues led to an “inadequate” level of care being provided to patients. It stated that despite improvements in some areas, the trust would remain under ‘special measures’ until these serious staffing problems were addressed. A number of other inadequacies were also highlighted in the report.

NHS England stated: “We are working with partners to address the challenges highlighted in the CQC report to ensure patients receive safe, high-quality hospital services.

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