Government Failing Cumbrian Patients

20th February 2014

Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed has today called on the Government to immediately address the staffing shortages at the West Cumberland Hospital.
A report undertaken by North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust has revealed that West Cumberland Hospital has a shortage of almost 30 nurses.  This comes less than a month after a Freedom of Information request by Labour revealed that the Trust are now spending more than 4 times the amount they were spending in 2009 on Locums, or temporary staff.
Jamie Reed said:
“Today’s report has further reinforced what we have known for many months; that patients are paying the price for the Government’s chronic mismanagement of the NHS.
“In his report last summer, Sir Bruce Keogh highlighted staff shortages as a real concern and the Francis Review said the Government should ensure that wards have safe staffing levels, yet the Government consistently refuses to act. We know staff shortages have a real impact on the quality of care a hospital is able to provide. The Government must ensure that trusts aren’t forced to rely upon expensive locums to provide core services as this will only worsen staff shortages in the future.
“Locum doctors can’t train junior hospital doctors and this means that in years to come, the staff shortage will be felt even more acutely.  It is time that the Government took action and ensured that our hospital has enough staff to provide high quality care. There is a growing feeling amongst medical staff at the West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary that they are being set up to fail. The government is failing patients and medical professionals in our area.”
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