Barrow and Lancashire hospital trust rated 'inadequate'

Royal Lancaster Infirmary Two of the top managers at the trust have resigned in the past month

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Some services at a trust which runs four hospitals in Cumbria and Lancaster have been deemed "inadequate" by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission.

In a draft report, the CQC flagged up problems within acute services, safety and leadership at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

The leaked document also reported concerns over staff vacancies levels.

The trust has described the past year as "challenging" but said there had been some significant improvements.

It said it would not comment directly on the report, seen by the BBC, as it was a draft and the final document - due to be published next month - could contain some changes.

'Unacceptably low' staffing

Inspectors from the CQC visited Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in February.

UHMBT (University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust) was inspected after the CQC highlighted areas of concern in 2013.

The report cited "unacceptably low" numbers of nurses at Barrow's Critical Care Unit and High Dependency Unit and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary's Ward 39, which still has not yet complied with a warning notice from last October.

However, the report gave "good" ratings to areas including effectiveness of treatment and care of patients.

'Improved relationships'

In the annual update, UHMBT said it had recruited 130 new nurses and developed seven-day working.

There was also investment in a new patient records system and publishing performance data on its website.

Chief executive Jackie Daniel said: "The trust and its partners have come a long way over the last two years in developing positive and much improved working relationships.

"I look forward to working alongside our partners this year to ensure standards of safety and quality across our hospitals continue to improve for the benefit of patients."

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