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Hunt hails UHMBT as an ‘example to the rest of the NHS’

L-R: Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England; Dr David Walker, UHMBT Medical Director; Aaron Cummins, UHMBT Deputy Chief Executive; Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health; Pearse Butler, UHMBT Chair; and Sue Smith, UHMBT Executive Chief Nurse.

[S]taff at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) were congratulated for their hard work and highlighted as an example to the rest of the NHS by the Secretary of State for Health, at a special visit to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary this week.

Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, visited staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Wednesday (23 August) with Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England, as part of a tour around a number of acute hospital trusts in Lancashire and Cumbria.

As part of the visit, Jeremy and Jane spent time speaking with a group of around 60 staff from across different areas of the hospital about the changes they have led to improve patient safety at the Trust, including:

  • 59% reduction in moderate harms in the last five years
  • 65% reduction in serious harms in the last five years
  • 34% reduction in incidents resulting in death in the last five years

Jeremy and Jane then spent some time informing staff about initiatives that are being launched nationally to further improve patient safety and reduce avoidable deaths across the NHS, along with new ways to support staff to feel confident in raising concerns.

The session finished with a question and answer session, giving staff the opportunity to ask the Secretary of State questions about any topic they wanted to. Topics covered included questions about Brexit and the impact on EU staff in the Trust and the wider NHS, plans to train more doctors and nurses, funding for seven day services, and the delays in getting new international recruits into work in the UK.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, talks to UHMBT staff

Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: “We are delighted that Jeremy and Jane chose to come to our Trust. This was another opportunity for us to share the progress made by our staff in improving standards of care in our hospitals with the most senior politician responsible for health and care in the country.”

Pearse Butler, Chair, UHMBT, said: “I am really pleased that Jeremy took time out to thank staff for their achievements and the progress they had made because it is very much deserved. We are also proud that he mentioned our Trust in the same breath as Virginia Mason – a well-respected American hospital that is seen as one of the safest hospitals in the world – when discussing our journey to make safety our priority.

“We do still have a lot to do but I am confident we are going in the right direction to be up there with the best and remain there. On behalf of the Trust Board, I’d like to echo Jeremy’s kind words and thank each and every one of our staff for their continued hard work and dedication.”

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: “I am immensely proud of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay’s remarkable transformation into a leading light in patient safety, and it was a real privilege to meet some of the staff who made this happen.

“I know it’s not been an easy journey, but the way the Trust has embedded patient safety at the heart of its culture is an example to the rest of the NHS, and is a vital step towards achieving my ambition of making the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world.”

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