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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Hospitals rated among worst

NORTH Cumbria’s hospitals have been rated among the worst in the country by the staff who work there.

Responses from staff at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital to a national satisfaction survey ranked the hospitals in the bottom 20 per cent.

A large proportion said they would not recommend North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust as a place to work or receive treatment. Many also raised concerns about the fairness and effectiveness of incident reporting.

Unions say this backs up their claims that cost-cutting across the Carlisle and Whitehaven is putting patients at risk – something that has always been strongly denied by chief executive Neil Goodwin.

Estephanie Dunn, from the Royal College of Nursing, said: “It crystallises what we’ve been saying for the past year, yet the trust has been in complete denial. We have simply repeated what our members are telling us, yet Dr Goodwin is not interested in anything we have to say. But these figures can’t be denied.

“A lot of these ratings are very alarming, especially when it places the trust in the bottom 20 per cent. Things like work pressures, staff anxieties about the quality of care they can deliver, morale.

“It’s not enough to say staff are at fault because they can’t cope with change. I speak to staff all the time who are having leave cancelled, being called in on days off and going without breaks – that is just not sustainable.”

The survey revealed some positives, including the percentage of staff using flexible working.

A trust spokeswoman said: “The trust recognises that over the last year, there have been challenges across the NHS and the public sector as a whole.

“Our trust is also undergoing an acquisition which is unsettling and we have a very challenging cost improvement programme to deliver.

“The 2011 NHS National Staff Survey was sent out towards the end of last year to around 850 randomly selected members of staff out of the 4,000 employed by the trust and there was a 58 per cent response rate.

“The trust is committed to working hard to improve things for both our staff and patients.”

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