A £26.3 million deficit and failed inspection means the Morecambe Bay NHS trust is now in special measures. After consulting with experts and patients alike, the trust has released proposals to reduce the deficit.
- Cut 525 jobs within five years
- More appointments conducted away from the hospital
- Consultants travelling to see some patients
Less surgery to be carried out at ‘good’ hospital
Westmorland General Hospital was deemed by the inspectors to be providing a good standard of care. Inspectors were concerned about the standard of care at the Royal Lancaster and Furness General Hospitals.
The Trust’s proposals include plans to move most surgery away from Westmorland General Hospital. The majority of procedures will take place at the Royal Lancaster and Furness General.
Clinical Negligence specialist Andrew Taylor, is a partner at Birchall Blackburn Law. He said:
“Cutting staff and focussing surgery on two sites suggests there will be a pair of specialist teams working more efficiently. Unfortunately, without seeing detailed plans I am concerned there could be increased pressure on two-tired teams.
“During the 2014 inspection, recruitment of staff was of fundamental concern. There was an inclination to rely too much on temporary members of staff. This could be aggravated further by staff cuts if they are not properly managed.
“The plan seems to focus on reducing the financial deficit rather than improving the service for patients. This could be setting them up to fail in the future – it is really too early to tell.”
Before the Trust’s proposals can be put into place, they must be approved by NHS England. Plus, the overall concerns about care levels are coupled with additional issues in maternity services:
Investigation into deaths of mothers and babies to be published this month
Deaths at the Furness General Hospital Maternity Unit between 2003 and 2014 are currently under investigation. However, inspectors felt that Maternity Services had shown improvement when they visited in 2014.
The new proposals would allow maternity services to remain in both the Royal Lancaster and Furness General hospitals. This is dependent on the outcome of the pending investigation.
Indeed, the level of care provided by any NHS Trust is an emotive issue – people rely so heavily on their services. Any drop in the expected levels of care can be at best traumatic and in extreme circumstances, fatal and tragic.
If you have suffered as a result of poor standards of care in any hospital, our specialist Clinical Negligence lawyers are here to help. We understand the worry and pain that medical mishaps can cause and will always handle your case sympathetically. For support every step of the way, contact us on 0800 614 722 or 0333 321 2192 from a mobile.