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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Inspectors visit north Cumbria hospitals as part of death rates probe

An inspection team will visit north Cumbria’s two main hospitals today as part of their probe into high death rates.

The rapid response team was appointed as part of a national review led by Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, into 14 hospital trusts with higher-than-expected death rates.

Figures showed the North Cumbria Hospitals University NHS Trust, which runs the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary, had the second-highest mortality figures using the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio.

A figure of 100 is used to indicate the expected number of deaths within a trust. The north Cumbrian trust had a score of 118 for the past two years.

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart is encouraging people to take part in the review and share their experiences.

From today , independent review panels will carry out reviews, observing the hospital in action.

Panel members will also hold meetings with patients, members of the public, and staff in order to discuss the feedback and experiences of these groups. These visits will be followed up with unannounced visits to the trusts.

The meetings with members of the public will be held today from 6pm to 8pm at the Crown & Mitre Hotel on English Street in Carlisle and tomorrow from 6pm to 8pm at Whitehaven Civic Hall on Lowther Street in Whitehaven.

Mr Stewart said: “Constituents who wish to offer both positive and negative feedback to Sir Bruce are encouraged to take this opportunity to meet him and relay their thoughts.

“This is an important platform to be heard, and to convey concerns to the National Medical Director, who values highly comments from members of the public.”

Dr Jeremy Rusher, director of clinical transformation at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We very much welcome this national review to make absolutely sure that we are now on the right track and moving forwards on our improvement journey at the right pace.”

The outcome of the visit is not expected to be made public until the summer.

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