North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust is making £6 million investment in the Accident and Emergency Departments at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital as part of its urgent and emergency care improvement plan.
The investment is being made in to maintain safety in the department and will enable the NCIC to increase the nursing and medical workforce to meet the significant rise in demand.
Last year, the Trust was issued with a warning notice by the CQC over safety standards in the department.
Since then the NCIC’s clinical teams have taken swift action to deliver rapid improvements in patient safety including improvements in triage and ensuring clinical oversight where we do experience delays.
This new investment will enable the Trust to significantly increase the nursing and medical workforce in the departments including over 30 nurses, 60 healthcare assistants and additional senior medical decision makers.
These posts are actively being recruited to and a number of emergency care practitioners have recently been through a two week induction process ahead of their arrival in the Trust.
Dr Emma Farrow is an emergency medicine consultant at NCIC said: “Over the last 10 years we have seen a 25 percent increase in demand for our services and the feedback from our regulators has shown that it has unfortunately impacted on our safety and efficiency.
“Since last year, we have already made a lot of improvements in our processes and are starting to see the impact of this but the additional funding to ensure safer staffing levels will ensure we can provide the excellent services we want to.”
A new cohort of Emergency Department Advanced Care Practitioners have already been inducted and started on September 20.
The eight trainees come from various backgrounds, one of those – Christine Irwin attended the course.
She said the induction was excellent and praised NCIC for offering this kind of training.
She said: “I was a nurse practitioner in Tyneside before I came to Cumbria. What NCIC is doing is exceptional. It is great training. It is thorough and safe for people joining from different backgrounds.
“It was great to meet people. The course is not easy but it was top notch and a great opportunity. I would like to thank all the doctors, clinicians and consultants who helped deliver the training. They really were excellent and there was a lot of positivity.”
Lyn Simpson, Chief Executive said: “This has been a really important piece of work. The investment will ensure that our teams are in the best possible position to deliver safe, high quality services for our patients.
“I’m really proud of our emergency department teams who have driven this work despite the challenges we have been facing in the last 12 months and I’m looking forward to seeing how this improves the experience of our patients in the future.”