The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is currently inspecting the quality of services at the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven and the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle after they were singled out for their high death rates. The team will look in detail at eight key service areas including surgery, A&E, maternity and end-of-life care.
These hospitals form part of the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust which was one of 11 trusts put into special measures after the Keogh Review found higher-than-expected mortality rates. The trust is among the first to be inspected and given an overall rating under changes introduced by the CQC. A full report of the inspectors' findings will be published by the CQC later in 2014, reports BBC News.
Commenting on the inspection, Lucie Prothero, associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, said: “It is worrying that these hospitals have alarmingly high death rates and the CQC’s inspection is a welcome development. We have recently represented a bereaved client at an inquest into the death of her husband at West Cumberland Hospital. Our client has significant concerns that her husband received inadequate care for the management of a significant head injury; a fall while he was a patient on a ward; and failures to manage him properly once his condition began to dramatically deteriorate due to brain haemorrhaging. Having represented our client at the inquest she is now looking towards a legal claim.”