National Medical Director visits
Staff from our hospital and community teams were visited by the new national medical director for NHS England last week.
NHS England’s Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said:
“The Long Term Plan sets out a vision for integrating services which means much more joined up care for patients. It is clear that north Cumbria is undergoing an improving transformation in healthcare. I have seen here how they are translating the Long Term Plan into practical action, and that means for the people of north Cumbria, much more seamless healthcare.”
He was accompanied by Matthew Cripps, the NHS England director for sustainable healthcare, who said:
“I’ve enjoyed seeing some of the clever things that are happening here in north Cumbria and meeting the individuals who are making it happen. We want our services to be sustainable and I saw that in the teams we visited at the Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital. It is inspiring to see. I thought meeting the team in the Maryport and Cockermouth ICC hub was fantastic – individuals who are the vital cogs in the engine providing seamless healthcare for patients.”
The pair heard about the challenges of running two district general hospitals in a remote area and saw first-hand the energy and enthusiasm of our teams on Hazel Ward and the Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary; the hub at Maryport and Cockermouth ICC; and the teams in the Same Day Health Centre and Accident and Emergency at the West Cumberland Hospital.
Professor John Howarth, System Clinical Lead and Deputy Chief Executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:
“It was great to have the NHS Medical Director visit north Cumbria and see the fantastic work of our staff. We have made great progress addressing the challenges within our health system. From having the second highest mortality rates in the country five years ago, we are now amongst the best in the North East and Cumbria, and below the national average.
“Our vacancy rate for doctors is now a third of the rate it was three years ago, however we recognise we still have much to do. Our waiting times still need to be improved and there are major challenges in the recruitment of GPs especially on the west coast.
“It was encouraging to see such positive feedback from the National Medical Director.”