Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust placed in special measures

30 June 2014

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust placed in special measures

Following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has been placed in special measures and rated as inadequate. The step means that all Cumbria hospital trusts will now receive extra assistance to boost performance.

The CQC further added that the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital in Barrow needed to improve the quality of care.

The trust responded to the development by stating that it was "part-way through a process of significant improvement".

Too much reliance on temporary staff

The CQC inspection took place in February and said that previous areas of care, such as A&E and maternity, had shown improvement but that other areas of concern had shown no signs of improvement with medical care in one part of the Royal Lancaster singled out to be “of particular concern”.

The CQC added that the recruitment of nurses and doctors was a “fundamental” worry with “too much reliance” on temporary staff. has received a number of enquiries from members of the public in the wake of the placing of 11 trusts placed into special measures last year after the Keogh review founded high mortality rates amongst trusts in the north of the county.

The chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: "There is a long history of concern with the quality of service provided by the trust, so it is disappointing to report that a number of the issues that have been identified in the past remain unresolved.

"I do not believe that the trust is likely to resolve its challenges without external support."

As well as the hospitals in Barrow and Lancaster, inspectors also inspected the care at the Westmorland General Hospital, near Kendal, which was said to be providing a good service overall.

The trust's chief executive, Jackie Daniel said: "The reports reflect the fact we are part-way through a process of significant improvement which is still going to take a number of years to complete.

"It isn't an overnight job to change the culture of a large, complex organisation."

If you or a loved one is worried about care received at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust or any trust placed into special measures, the specialist teams at can provide free advice about what your options are, whether you are interested in making a complaint about medical mistreatment or to possibly start a legal claim.