6th December 2013
Following the publication of the Dr Foster report into Hospital Mortality Rates, Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister Jamie Reed said:
“The Dr Foster report comes less than 6 months after the comprehensive review undertaken by Sir Bruce Keogh. The review, which was published in July, was triggered by higher than average mortality rates, and the Dr Foster report shows that North Cumbria Trust is still an outlier with many improvements still to be made. It’s important to recognise that Prof Keogh found examples of excellent practice in all of the hospitals he visited and that mortality rates have fallen between 40-50% at these hospitals over the last decade.
“Various reports, including those from the Care Quality Commission shows that our local trust is making improvements, but this improvement must be a continuing process. We need more staff and the staff need more support.
“At the health summit I hosted at the end of September, it was clear that the Trust is well aware of what is expected of the need to improve. It is right that we acknowledge the measures put in place to improve care at the Trust, but as these findings show, there is much still to do.
“I made it clear when the Keogh Review was published, these findings cannot be used as a smokescreen to reconfigure hospital services in West Cumbria.
“The Government must do more to support the North Cumbria Trust, but they simply don’t want to know. Months after being placed in special measures, Jeremy Hunt hasn’t made clear how the North Cumbria Trust can get out of special measures to allow the acquisition by Northumbria to proceed.
“In addition, the government proposes to slash health spending in Cumbria by over £60m. I’ve written to Jeremy Hunt to ask him to stop this. There is a damaging incoherence at the heart of government policy which continues to harm the NHS locally and nationally and patients are paying the price for this.”