THE West Cumberland Hospital did not always have enough nursing and support staff to keep patients safe, according to the latest report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

As part of the inspection, the CQC spoke to senior leaders in the organisation and visited A&E departments and medical wards at the West Cumberland Hospital.

North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) as a whole was rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC and the West Cumberland Hospital was also given the same rating.

The report said that the West Cumberland Hospital did not always have enough nursing staff and health care support staff with the right qualifications, skills, training, and experience to “keep patients safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care and treatment” - though it said that there were sufficient staff in terms of medical staffing.

It stated that board members were not always visible within the organisation, 'particularly at the West Cumberland site'.

But the report did also praise staff’s attitude and patient care and that the trust had outlined areas for improvement.

“There was evidence that progress was being made within the key areas of focus, particularly with the management of falls which the trust had identified as a significant issue,” said the report.

“Along with the key areas of focus, the trust had identified five key principles to drive improvement with quality and safety of patient care at the heart of all work undertaken."

Chief Nurse at NCIC, Jill Foster, said: “The report reflects what we told the CQC as we were all candid with them about our challenges so none of this has come as a surprise to us.

“We told the CQC that we are focusing on leadership, culture and performance and we have clear plans in each of those areas which have already been progressing since the inspection took place.

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“It is encouraging that the CQC notes the progress that has been made since our last inspection and now it is our job to make sure that progress doesn’t slip.

“I would also like to be clear that we are not complacent.

“We know there is work to do and I would like to assure our local communities that we are fully committed to delivering improvements and demonstrating further progress to the CQC next time they visit.”