Cumbria

More staff at criticised north Cumbria hospitals

  • 19 August 2013
  • From the section Cumbria
Hospital sign
Image caption A different trust is soon to take over the running of the two hospitals

Hospitals in north Cumbria criticised for high death rates have taken on extra doctors and nurses.

North Cumbria Hospitals Trust said it had recruited 82 medical staff, including midwives, to work in its Carlisle and Whitehaven hospitals.

The staff have been recruited in the wake of the Keogh Review last month when the trust was one of 11 put into special measures over death rates.

The trust said it struggled to fill posts because the area was "remote".

Many of the new staff will work across both hospital sites, Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, the trust said.

Reduce locum cover

The government's Keogh Review was set up after shortcomings led to hundreds of deaths at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

A trust spokeswoman said: "We haven't been given extra funding for recruitment, it's about saving money through a reduced use of locums - our aim is to reduce locum cover by 50% over the next two years.

Image caption New recruit Dr Madhusudhan Varma is a consultant cardiologist

"The trust's priority is improving the quality of care for patients, therefore we will not settle for anything other than the best candidate for the posts.

"In the past we had difficulty attracting new consultants, particularly to West Cumberland Hospital, mainly due to the geographically remote location."

The trust also said it would also soon recruit new consultants in rheumatology and gynaecology.

The trust, which employs 2,500 staff, is in the process of handing over the running of the two hospitals to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

A spokeswoman said: "Now, as we are working closely with Northumbria Healthcare, more senior clinicians from across the country are being attracted by the prospect of working in our trust."

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