Inspection team puts Royal Lancaster Infirmary under scrutiny

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
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Inspectors will visit the Royal Lancaster Infirmary today as part of a thorough examination of our local health trust.

A team from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was at the RLI yesterday and were due to move on to Furness General in Barrow today and then Westmorland General in Kendal on Friday.

These are the first inspections since the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) was rated “inadequate” and placed in special measures after the CQC visited in February 2014, and ordered to produce an improvement plan.

In addition, unannounced inspections will also be carried out.

Jackie Daniel, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We update the CQC monthly on how we are doing against our plan and publish monthly updates on our website and NHS Choices. This re-inspection is a chance for the CQC to see the improvements in action and check that we are making the progress they’d expect. Staff across the hospitals will be working closely with the Inspectors throughout the week so that they can get a true picture of what it is like to work at the Trust. They

will also talk to patients and the local communities about the care and experience them or their loved ones have received whilst in one of our hospitals.

“The work of the CQC is very important in not only identifying where we have made improvements, and where we still have work to do; but also giving staff, the public and our stakeholders assurance that our services are safe and caring, and moving in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, directors of the Trust met with Lancaster City Council to explain the changes made since ‘special measures’ were introduced.

Aaron Cummins, Director of Finance of UHMBT and Phil Woodford, Associate Director of Corporate Affairs told the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee the trust had invested £7m in additional staff including 125 nurses and 25 doctors.

They said the trust had also improved communication and engagement with staff, introduced new performance ‘dashboards’, improved record keeping and also easier access to case note availability. Ward 39 at the RLI, highlighted as inadequate by the CQC, had now increased its number of nurses by 20% and split the ward into clinic zones, resulting in improved feedback of the ward. They said the new CQC report was expected in eight weeks’ time.