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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Cumbrian health trust sets out vision for future

A health trust has set out plans for significant improvements following a troubled year, which saw inspectors criticise its care.

Claire Molloy photo
Claire Molloy

The Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs community and mental health services, has set out a new vision for its future.

The trust launched urgent action after failings were identified at its Ramsey dementia unit, in Barrow, by the Care Quality Commission.

It has since been looking at how it can make wider improvements to services right across Cumbria.

In the past the county was split into localities, but now the focus will shift to four key areas – community health services, specialist services, mental health and children and family services. A new management team has been appointed to each of these areas, with the trust giving clinicians more say as to how services are developed.

New chief executive Claire Molloy, who has now been in post nine months, said the overall vision is to ensure people in local communities live “happier, healthier and more hopeful lives”.

She has also set out new values that will be adopted across the organisation – kindness, fairness, ambition and spirit.

As the trust publishes its annual report, Mrs Molloy looked back on the her time in Cumbria so far. Summing it up, she said: “Challenging, but good progress and an opportunity that has given us a solid foundation for change.”

She admitted that although she was new to the trust, it was still incredibly upsetting to discover there were real problems at the Ramsey Unit.

“During my first three months, I had already identified a range of changes and improvements I wanted to take forward to ensure quality and safety were top priority for the trust,” she explained.

“The CQC inspection was a significant event because not only did it drive us with an absolute determination to put Ramsey right, it also provided a platform from which to quickly develop and action a series of changes to the way the organisation works.”

The annual report describes the work that has taken place since. This includes ensuring services are now quality and safety focussed; changing the culture and the way the organisation is run so it is more open and transparent; and developing and improving our service in collaboration with various partners.

Despite the challenges, trust chairman, Mike Taylor, said the year had also been one of great achievements. And he said that one of the most encouraging developments he has seen for a number of years was formation of the new Cumbria Health & Social Care Alliance, which is seeing leaders from the various health trusts and councils working together under one umbrella for the first time.

The trust board will present the report at its annual meeting on Wednesday, September 17 at Rheged, near Penrith. Copies are available on its website.

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