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Response to the publication of the CQC inspection report 2021

20 August 2021

  • Quality and safety
  • Colleague health and wellbeing
  • Finance and transformation
  • Furness General Hospital
  • Royal Lancaster Infirmary
  • Westmorland General Hospital

On Friday 20 August 2021, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its report following unannounced and well led inspections of Trust services in April and May 2021.

Aaron Cummins, Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: “Our staff have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic and we are pleased the CQC recognised some of the improvements the Trust has made since its last inspection, but clearly there is still work to be done and we know our colleagues, patients and local populations deserve better. 

“The safety of our patients and staff is our absolute priority and we have already started making improvements to address the concerns raised, including creating dedicated stroke beds in our hospitals; appointing more colleagues in emergency care and launching new electronic patient record systems in maternity. We will continue to work with our teams to make further changes to ensure we are delivering the safest and best care for our patients and their families.” 

Professor Mike Thomas, Chair, UHMBT, said: “We recognise that improvements must quickly be made so that we can deliver the best possible care to our communities, and we welcome any additional support from NHS England and Improvement to help us accelerate the changes we have already begun to make – such as new appointing clinical leads in our stroke services and developing plans to increase capacity in our ambulatory care services to improve waiting times for patients in our Emergency Departments. 

“While we know we still have a lot more to do, our Board, leadership teams and staff across the Trust remain committed to providing the consistently safe and high quality that our communities deserves.” 

Jane Scattergood, Director of Nursing and Quality for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System said: “We are committed to delivering the best quality safe and compassionate care and are supporting University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay to respond to the concerns raised by CQC inspectors.

“UHMBT is already working together with partners across Lancashire and South Cumbria to make improvements, including implementing new technology to support the treatment and long-term recovery of stroke survivors, and we are confident that the work being undertaken by the Trust with support from NHS England and Improvement is already making a positive difference, which we are focussed on sustaining for the future.” 


  • The rating for care remains ‘good’ with inspectors noting that: “Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness and took account of their individual needs and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.” 
  • Inspectors found an example of ‘outstanding practice’ in maternity services with the work the service is doing with the national research project ‘Born into Care’ and external partners to provide memory boxes for women whose baby was being removed into care following birth. 
  • Other areas of good practice identified in the report include: 
    • Staff provided good care and treatment, worked well together for the benefit of patients and supported them to make decisions about their care 
    • The Trust engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually 
    • The Trust planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback 
    • Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well 
    • Most staff felt respected, supported and valued. Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care and were clear about their roles and accountabilities 
    • The Trust controlled infection risk well 
  • Improvements noted by the CQC following their previous inspection in 2018, include: 
    • Supporting patients with a mental health concern particularly in the Emergency Departments (ED) - including the creation of a dedicated facilities in the EDs at the RLI and FGH and the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at WGH 
    • Improved communication between clinicians within the urology services and significant improvements made in relation to the leadership and culture in the service 
    • Improvements to mandatory training compliance, safeguarding, support for mental health patients, staffing and storage of medications at the UTC at WGH 
    • Staff in maternity services generally said they had increased confidence in the incident reporting system and that systems for sharing learning had improved since the last inspection 
  • Further details of examples of improvements made since the CQC inspection, include: 
    • Agreed funding and additional space for the Therapy teams to enable them to support patients suffering from a stroke more effectively 
    • Developed plans with partners to increase primary care capacity and introduce Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centres to improve waiting times for patients in the Trust’s Emergency Departments  
    • 80% of leadership appraisals are now completed and signed off with the remaining 20% due to be signed off by end of August
    • Increased the compliance rate for key training modules for stroke teams
    • Creating dedicated stroke beds in hospitals
    • Appointing additional clinical leads in stroke service
    • Implementing innovative technologies, including Telestroke and Artificial Intelligence, to support the treatment and long-term recovery of stroke survivor
    • Developing plans to increase capacity in our ambulatory care services to improve waiting times for patients in our Emergency Department
    • Appointing three nurses in emergency care
    • Launching new electronic patient record systems in maternity
    • Introducing regular spot checks to ensure colleagues are wearing PPE appropriately
    • Increasing our Trust wide Safeguarding Level 3 training compliance from 79.3% to 92%