RLI trust boundaries plea

CITY MP Eric Ollerenshaw has called on the new interim chair of the beleaguered trust running the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to look again at its boundaries.

Tony Halsall, the chief executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, resigned on Friday after problems including delays at A&E at the RLI, missed appointments and a police investigation into baby deaths at Furness General Hospital.

Mr Ollerenshaw last week met the trust’s new interim chair Sir David Henshaw, who was drafted in from Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.

Hospital staff were concerned to hear from Sir David that there could be a big shake-up of RLI departments.

“I put the issue of geography to the chairman because the trust covers an area all the way from Lancaster and around Morecambe Bay to Barrow,” said Mr Ollerenshaw.

“I asked him whether those boundaries were going to be looked at, whether they are causing some difficulties and whether it is practical to be moving people those distances. He was willing to look at that and whether there are different ways of connecting those hospitals.

“He seems to have a really good hands-on grasp of the situation and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is in there demanding that things happen.

“There clearly are problems at the trust but I’m proud of the fact that the vast majority of staff are still providing a really good service.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (01-03-12) for full story.