Boss to ask ‘tough questions’ on safety
Last updated at 11:53, Thursday, 07 June 2012
THE chairman of North Cumbria’s under-fire hospitals trust has launched a passionate defence following heightened fears for patient safety.
But Mike Little said both he and fellow non-executive directors are concerned about the latest reports and would be asking tough questions at their next meeting.
After it emerged that staff have been flagging up new safety concerns at the West Cumberland Hospital and Cumberland Infirmary, Mr Little said he owes his life to the Carlisle hospital.
“I’ve had two major cancer operations at the Cumberland Infirmary,” he added. “The reason I’m here today is because of the skill of those people at the hospital. We have very safe hospitals and the staff are fantastic. I am very proud of them.”
However, Mr Little, who was on holiday when concerns about staffing levels, bed numbers and near-miss incidents were leaked last week, said he would be asking questions. “I and fellow members of the non-executive board are obviously concerned by these matters. At the next board meeting we will be asking about these incidents and what has been done to improve matters,” he said.
Cumbria’s four MPs have called for a planned takeover of the hospitals by Northumbria to be pushed forward urgently.
Mr Little said he hoped they could push some of it through sooner than expected. In the meantime, he insisted the hospitals are safe, stressing that he and his colleagues are kept fully informed about all these reports.
“Ever since I became chairman, which is coming up for four years, I’ve had a whole-board focus on patient care and patient safety. My non-executives are the eyes and ears of the community. They want reasons and answers. Nothing gets swept under the carpet.”
Mr Little said there will always be incidents in any hospital, but he was encouraged that staff are now reporting them so issues can be investigated and addressed.
“Every time the Care Quality Commission has visited we have always come out with a clean bill of health,” he said. “Their recommendations have always been minor. And they do not say when they are coming.”
First published at 11:10, Thursday, 07 June 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
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