New hospitals boss still to take over
Last updated at 11:23, Thursday, 16 August 2012
THE NEW boss of West Cumberland Hospital who was expected to start on Monday of this week – has still to take over.
And a private meeting of health chiefs was yesterday (Wednesday) being held to discuss unresolved matters relating to the takeover of the hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.
It centres around a legally-binding document sealing the hospitals’ transfer which was supposed to have been agreed by all parties and signed by now but has not. This document includes details such as when the new West Cumberland Hospital should be built by and what it will look like.
Health chiefs would not reveal to The Whitehaven News what the issues holding up the process are and said more time was needed.
The North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust – which runs both hospitals – is being taken over as a result of long-running financial problems. The new organisation taking over, Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust, was supposed to start managing the day to day performance of the hospitals from this week. But because this ‘Business Transfer Agreement’ (BTA) has not been signed then this cannot yet happen.
The document also sets out what Northumbria plan to do when they take over and how much money they will get to do it.
A spokeswoman for the North Cumbria Trust said this week: “Whilst elements of the Business Transfer Agreement (BTA) have been satisfactorily concluded, other elements require further detailed consideration by all parties. Consequently, the BTA has not been signed in the timeframe anticipated and the interim arrangements will not take effect as anticipated.”
A private meeting of the North Cumbria Trust Board, including Northumbria representatives and regional health bosses was taking place yesterday (Wednesday) as The Whitehaven News went to press to discuss how the matters are to be resolved.
“It is hoped that following this meeting that the management arrangements may be swiftly progressed,” added the Trust spokeswoman.
John Bannister, spokesman for the Save Our Services campaign group said: “I do not see this delay as something for the public to be worried about. It is essential that North Cumbria Trust do not sign up to interim management arrangements until the Business Transfer Agreement is signed. “The Northumbria Trust have a lot to catch up with, especially in relation to the West Cumberland Hospital new build project. Too much hard work has gone into getting the project to this stage. It is important the new partners are fully aware of how and why the project has got to this stage and that we have their full support for the completion of the project. I remain confident that everything will be sorted within the time constraints that are explicit with the Treasury approval letter.”
Ann Farrar, current chief operating officer for the Northumbria Trust, was supposed to move across to Cumbria as interim chief executive this week.
Former interim chief executive Dr Neil Goodwin – who was on a daily rate of £1,750 – has now stepped down from the role but is continuing to advise the Trust Board on finalising the take-over process.
The management arrangements were agreed following concerns from local MPs who united to urge the new health bosses to be fast-tracked into place sooner to take over the local Trust.
Once the legal document is signed it is then subject to approval from Monitor (an organisation which regulates Foundation Trusts) a process which should take around three months. The takeover is expected to be completed in December.
First published at 11:22, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
You're not far from the truth westcumbrian. One of the main stumbling blocks is WCH. They're not happy with what is being proposed in terms of services and redevelopment of the site.
It is fairly obvious, reading between the line that, Norhumbria Trust wants to treat west cumberland hospital like Hexam hospital.
They do not want to sign up to 'services as it is'
Northumbria must be made aware that Whitehaven is not Hexam. It has more population base than Hexam, and home for major nuclear facilities. That was the main reason why WCH was built at Whitehaven in first place.
We all Westcumbrians need to be on guard.