SERVICES provided by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has seen its ratings drop following an inspection. 

Watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today published its latest inspection report, which saw its overall rating drop from 'good' to 'requires improvement'.

Improvements must now be made in several areas - particularly its A&E department.

Professor Ted Baker, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “It is disappointing to see this trust return to a rating of requires improvement, although I note the staff are doing everything they can to care for patients in a respectful and compassionate manner, often working under significant pressure.

“We will be monitoring the trust’s performance closely."

In Royal Lancaster’s urgent and emergency service, inspectors found nurse staffing levels and the service’s ability to monitor patients was not always effective. At busy times staff found meeting patients’ needs challenging and regular checks on patients were not always evidenced

Inspectors did report that other areas of the hospital had effective systems to identify and reduce risks to patient safety and processes were in place to consider the needs of local people.

While the overall rating for Royal Lancaster Infirmary has fallen to Requires Improvement, professor Baker added that inspectors did see some outstanding practice - including improvements at the Westmorland General Hospital's cardiac unit in Kendal and the supportive culture in Furness General in Barrow.