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Update on 'progress' at Cockermouth Community Hospital

Following a call for patient feedback this was information supplied by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group in August 2015:
"Community hospitals are run by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) with some of the services provided by the acute hospital Trust: North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust (NCUHT).

There are system wide problems affecting health services in north Cumbria. It is one of three areas in England to be identified as being in need of extra support as a Success Regime. In particular there are issues relating to recruitment and staffing which are affecting many services, including developing these services in Cockermouth.


The challenges that we face in the provision of radiology services largely concern issues in staffing. Radiologists are employed by NCUHT, who are currently facing difficulties in maintaining existing services at Carlisle and Whitehaven, and so do not have the capacity to staff additional Ultrasound and X-ray services. I note that in your email you mention that the League of Friends kindly offered to purchase some of the radiology equipment. However, due to the significant maintenance costs that this equipment would entail, the case would need to be made that it would be fully used, and due to the staffing issues outlined above it is likely that the equipment would go unused for long periods of time. On a positive note there is now MRI provision at Cockermouth via the visiting service.

Minor Injuries

The GP practices in Cockermouth already provide a limited minor injury service (anyone with a minor injury can turn up and be seen by the practice - they are funded on a case by case basis for this under an enhanced service contract). Given that there are existing Minor Injury Units at Workington and Keswick there were never firm proposals for a larger scale service in Cockermouth, although the CCG is aware that there are those that have argued for this provision.

Outpatients (i.e. acute Outpatient clinics based at Cockermouth)

Some Outpatient (OP) clinics are now provided at Cockermouth and we have been working with the acute Trust to try and encourage more of these. However, staffing issues and the shortage of consultants is again making it difficult for the Trust to staff outreach clinics. NCUHT have been undertaking a review of all of their OP provision and would like to see clinics provided in community hospitals in order to ease the constraints on their main sites. However, they are currently looking at how services are provided as at this time they cannot afford to lose clinic time and capacity through extra travelling time for consultants or the risks of clinics not operating at full capacity.

NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

Details of merger plans on Castlegate Surgery website