David Cameron: Urgent improvements needed at Morecambe Bay’s health trust (From The Westmorland Gazette)
When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
David Cameron: Urgent improvements needed at Morecambe Bay’s health trust
THE Prime Minister has said the death of a North Lancashire cancer patient highlights the need for urgent improvements at Morecambe Bay’s three hospitals.
David Cameron told MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions today that patients at the University Hospitals of Morecame Bay Trust (UHMBT) had a ‘right to expect far better standards of care’.
He spoke out after Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris raised the case of grandmother Penny Hegarty, of Over Kellet, who died after recurring breast cancer was allegedly misdiagnosed by a trust doctor.
Mr Morris asked Mr Cameron for an assurance that the troubled trust would be turned around.
Mr Cameron, who sent personal condolences to the Hegarty family, said he was aware of failings at UHMBT.
“It is being turned around,” he said. “That work needs to be undertaken with all speed.”
North Lancashire teaching expert Mrs Hegarty, 62, died after recurring breast cancer was allegedly misdiagnosed as oesteoperosis.
Her husband Phil, 67, has campaigned for an investigation into information management at UHMBT.
“Penny might still be with us if there were better systems in place,” he said. “She didn’t get a good deal. In my view the clinician had done his best. I tried to persuade the trust to look at what went wrong from a management and systems perspective but it refused to respond.”
The Prime Minister’s comments come in the wake of the resignation of UHMBT chief executive Tony Halsall – a move which has been praised by patients, politicians and clinicians.
Mr Halsall, who had previously refused to resign, stepped down last Friday after health regulators found serious faults with the organisation.
The trust is also facing High Court legal action over the deaths of an Ulverston mother and baby. Carl Hendrickson is suing the trust for negligence after the death of wife Nittaya and baby Chester at Furness General Hospital in 2008.
This and other deaths at the unit sparked coroner’s criticisms and a police investigation which is ongoing.
Monitor and the Care Quality Commission have both launched probes into maternity services, accident and emergency cover, trust management and leadership. However, both declined to comment about Mr Halsall’s resignation Mr Halsall’s decision came just two weeks after Sir David Henshaw was parachuted in as new UHMBT chairman.
Mr Farron said: “I think Sir David is being open minded where services should go across Morecambe Bay. This is a wonderful opportunity for the trust to expand what it does, bringing services back from Lancaster, to both Westmorland General and Furness General hospitals, including more surgery.”