Major Incident Declared by North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust

19th March 2015


Reed:    Service cuts must stop – Acquisition should be officially paused – More resources needed – Government must intervene
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Jamie Reed has responded to the declaration of a major incident by the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust.
NHS England describe a major incident as:
“Any occurrence that presents serious threat to the health of the community, disruption to the service or causes (or is likely to cause) such numbers or types of casualties as to require special arrangements to be implemented by hospitals, ambulance trusts or other acute or community provider organisations.”
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:
“My immediate thoughts are with those patients who are right now not receiving the care that they need and the staff at both hospitals – overstretched, overworked and under-resourced – who are doing everything they can to provide the best possible care in the circumstances. Patients and medical professionals deserve better.
“I have repeatedly warned of such an event occurring and repeatedly sought the assistance of the government – including the Prime Minister directly – to stop such a situation occurring. These requests have been repeatedly ignored. There should be no doubt that this major incident has occurred because of a lack of resource, a lack of staff and government cuts to other areas such as social services. This major incident is not the result of winter pressures but wider, year-round system failure.
“I will again write to Jeremy Hunt today calling for North Cumbria to be given the resources it needs and for the Department of Health to intervene directly, rather than continuing to ignore the unfolding crisis in the Cumbrian NHS.
“I recently wrote to NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens calling for an investigation into the challenges facing the NHS in Cumbria and he has agreed to visit the area soon to witness the scale of the challenge for himself.
“This major incident has major implications for the North Cumbrian health economy:
  • It demonstrates the stupidity of moving services from west Cumbria as the ability of both the WCH and the CIC has now been compromised by this
  • It underlines the impossibility of removing consultant led maternity services and acute medicine from the WCH. This cannot be allowed to happen
  • It illustrates that a never-ending acquisition process has increased, not reduced service instability

“The acquisition of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust by Northumbria must now be officially paused, pending a review by NHS England. There is no meaningful evidence to demonstrate service improvement in north and west Cumbria as a result of this process. Instead, hospitals in Cumbria are being remotely controlled from Northumbria and a bullying culture is running rampant across both hospital sites.”

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