Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Report gives mixed views on NHS staff in west Cumbria

Patients have given mixed views on the behaviour of staff at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Some have criticised the way they act towards patients calling them “horrible and selfish”.

Others have praised the work they do treating patients.

The comments came in the report Listening to Cumbria, which dealt with patient and staff opinions of healthcare across the county, including at the Whitehaven hospital.

The negative comments from patients in Allerdale and Copeland included:

Lack of attention at Whitehaven Hospital due to busy nurses. Being put on A&E ward for several days, feeling isolated and lonely;

The nurses at WCH were horrible and selfish and I would never go into WCH (West Cumberland Hospital) myself. My experience of hospitals round here is very bleak;

Better communication from nurses please, it can be isolating in a side ward;

Mother-in-law in hospital lost half her body weight, unable to feed herself and ignored by nurses on ward … subsequently died of complications partially due to poor treatment.

However, others gave praise to staff, including one patient who said:

I can only praise both my GP and the consultant I saw at WCH following a recent investigation … the efficiency and promptness … and the very pleasant and humane manner.

GPs were also given the opportunity to have their say in the report, commissioned by NHS Cumbria’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), but none of them have had any comments published on the hospital.

It followed a survey by the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England, where respondents said they were pleased with accident and emergency services run by the trust in Whitehaven and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Ed Tallis, associate director of operations at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The trust is pleased to note that the majority of public respondents were happy with their recent care in hospital.

“However it is important to us to hear from patients about where improvements could be made.”

He also said the trust was looking into methods to make bookings simpler and cut waiting times.

He added that it was important to gather more information about patients’ experiences. He said the trust is taking part in a Department of Health scheme to record this from April next year.

“The trust welcomes the opportunity to work closely with the CCG to understand these results and how they can be used to improve services for our patients.”

Dr Geoff Joliffe, one of the CCG’s lead GPs, said: “This report demonstrates that in the majority, services in Cumbria work well and that NHS staff up and down the county work tirelessly to support and help their patients. However it is also important that we hear where perhaps things could have been better so we can plug these in to our own priorities both across the county and in our locality areas. Hopefully as a result of this work and our continued commitment to listen to patients we are focusing on these areas and working to make things better.”

Read the report in full at


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