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CQC requires improvement at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

28 November 2013
North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

The Care Quality Commission has told Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust that it must make improvements to comply with national standards of quality and safety.

This follows an unannounced inspection of the Ramsey Unit in Barrow in Furness on 10 October 2013. The visit took place as part of CQC’s scheduled programme of inspections for 2013-14.

The CQC’s inspection report, which is published today, identifies shortfalls against all three of the national standards reviewed.  Areas of particular concern included:

  • Staff told inspectors that chronic staff shortages were impacting on their ability to provide adequate care that fully met patients’ needs.
  • Inspectors found a high number of patient falls due to insufficient staff to provide supervision.
  • Patients were often left in bed without breakfast until late morning due to there being insufficient staff on duty.
  • Patients were not receiving their prescribed medications at the times they were prescribed due to the length of time it was taking the registered nurse to complete the medication round.
  • A number of patients were found to be at risk of weight loss and malnutrition and inspectors were unable to see what food and fluids patients had been given as food intake charts had not been filled in.
  • In cases where people lacked the capacity to consent, inspectors were concerned that the trust had not acted in accordance with legal requirements and records relating to patients’ capacity were incomplete.
  • Inspectors were concerned that there was very little stimulation for patients and were told that there was no therapeutic input into patients’ care.
  • The unit had extensive facilities - crafts room, sensory room and designed gardens but these were rarely used.

The concerns regarding low staffing levels were highlighted immediately to the trust on the day of inspection and the trust took prompt action to increase staff numbers and to stop new patients being admitted to the unit. In addition, the trust conducted a staffing review across all units.   

As a result of the inspection, CQC has issued two formal warnings to the trust, requiring improvements in relation to standards of care and welfare and staffing. 

Inspectors will return, unannounced, to check that the necessary improvements have been made.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC’s Regional Director for the North said:

“We were shocked by what we found at the Ramsey Unit and have warned the trust that improvements must be made.   

“The trust had agreed to voluntarily to suspend admissions to the ward until they had fully addressed all areas of concern – the unit reopened to admissions on 18 November. In the meantime, we continue to monitor the trust extremely carefully, working closely with NHS England, Monitor and commissioners, to ensure that the required improvements are implemented.

“We will not hesitate to take further regulatory action, should this be necessary to ensure patients receive the quality of care and support they are entitled to expect.”


For further information please contact the CQC Regional Communications Team, David Fryer 07901 514 220 or Kirstin Hannaford 0191 233 3629.

The CQC press office can be contacted on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Notes to editors

CQC has published a further full report on the profile page of Ramsey Unit

Inspectors found that Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was failing to meet three standards:

  • Care and welfare of people who use services
  • Staffing
  • Consent to care and treatment

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.

Last updated:
30 May 2017