When news happens, text CIT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire's hospitals are overwhelmed, say MPs
7:00pm Friday 8th February 2013 in East Lancashire
MPS described East Lancashire’s hospitals as being ‘overwhelmed’ as a probe was launched into the trust that runs them.
Nationally, five trusts, including East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, are to be probed because they have had higher than expected mortality rates for two successive years.
East Lancashire’s trust, which runs Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital, is 13 per cent above expectations, ranking it the fifth worst trust in the country.
Mr Jones said he continually heard complaints about Royal Blackburn, but did not blame the hospital itself.
He said: “They are overwhelmed. The hospital cannot do anything about the number of people who descend upon them. They cannot help that the demand is more than their resources.
“People tell me often they simply don’t bother going to A&E because the wait is horrendous. We have a very serious health problem in this area.
“It’s partly people drinking and smoking too much. People eat salty and fatty foods and expecting the health service to pick up the pieces. It’s that and the fact that spending has gone on bureaucracy rather than front-line services.”
Burnley MP Mr Birtwistle said: “The problem with hospital services is something I am hearing constantly about in surgeries. I said when services were moved over from Burnley that Blackburn would not be able to cope with the increase in demand.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “It’s important we get to the bottom of why mortality rates are high. The trust has made considerable progress in recent years but we have got to look at all the factors and the quality of care.”
A spokeswoman for the trust said: “We have benchmark staffing levels and the ability to ensure we can staff across all levels – doctors, nurses and assistants. If we have vulnerable patients we still have the ability to give them one-to-one nursing care.
“We know our activity and can plan for this in terms of staffing and if there is any change in this, we have access to an internal bank of staff who work with us.”