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All the latest from the Trust | September 2022

Intro from the chair

Peter Scott

Hello and welcome to our newsletter for foundation trust members and the wider community.

Some of our highlights from the last month feature below.

We were all deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Her Majesty The Queen earlier this month. Our flags at NCIC sites flew at half-mast during the period of mourning and staff and patients observed the silences. We did stand some services down on Monday 19th October however we ensured that cancer and other urgent activity - and some routine activity - did still take place. We are grateful to colleagues who did come in to work so we could continue to provide treatment to those who needed it most.

It’s great to see work starting on the new heart centre labs at the Cumberland Infirmary. The £3.4m upgrade will provide two new state-of-the-art catheter labs and a renovated ward area.

I do hope some of you will be able to attend the recruitment day at the West Cumberland Hospital on October 8. There are some great opportunities and roles on offer for anyone who is looking for a job. We are also returning to face to face board meetings from next week where members of the public can attend in person, for the first time since the pandemic.  

Thank you for your ongoing support and please do not hesitate to get in touch with any thoughts, comments or suggestions for next time.

Peter Scott

Joint recruitment event to be held at WCH

We are hosting a joint recruitment event on Saturday 8th October with construction company GRAHAM and Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear (CNTW) NHS Foundation Trust at West Cumberland Hospital. 

The event will be open to anyone who is interested in hearing more about the type of roles on offer such as: health care assistants, catering staff, portering roles and volunteering positions. GRAHAM will be looking to fill administrative roles as well as information on construction roles which will become available when the build gets underway in early 2023. 

The hospital site in Whitehaven, is currently undergoing a £40 million redevelopment project, with GRAHAM being appointed the contractor to carry out the work. The Trust is delighted to offer the chance for the local population to apply for roles within the hospital but also with the construction company. On the day teams will be on hand to answer questions and take details and information from prospective applicants.  

Work starts on heart centre labs at CIC

Work has now started to expand and renovate the heart centre at the Cumberland infirmary. Lambert-gill are the appointed contractors for the works. The Cumbrian company recently won the tender for the £3.4m renovation and building project. 

The project will see two new catheter laboratories being built as well as a refurbishment of the current Heart Centre.

All patients across north Cumbria who need emergency treatment for a severe heart attack or who need specialist cardiac treatment are supported by The Heart Centre. There are more than 2000 procedures (both planned and emergency) carried out each year there. The treatments include coronary angiography, in which x-ray is used to obtain images of the heart arteries and percutaneous coronary intervention – a procedure that can be used to unblock a blood vessel and implant a stent to keep the artery open.

Prior to the specialist service being in the county patients had to travel to Newcastle or Middlesbrough for advanced treatments and therefore investment to ensure the service remains fit for purpose for the communities of north Cumbria was important.

Opening the doors to WCH!

We're opening the doors to our services at WCH. Meet some of the teams, hear about our plans for the future and learn more about some of the services we’re offering from WCH. You can read about one of our services each week in the Whitehaven News or via the public web.

Cumbria Pride 2022

Teams from the Trust had a great day at Cumbria Pride last Saturday. The LGBT+ staff network decided to focus on promoting NCIC as a place to work and our efforts to be a more inclusive organisation. 

Deputy Lead Governor William Miskelly talked to people about joining the Trust as a member. 

Staff gave out flags, pronoun badges, and pens and had a lot of interest from younger people, families and groups who were keen to find out more. 

The sexual health teams were giving out advice, free condoms and asking people to identify sexual health infections from the photos on their stand. 

The viral hepatitis team were also providing advice on being Hep C free and carried out on the spot testing.

New contact details for Trust's IMSK service 

From October 1, the NCIC physiotherapy led MSK services are coming together to create one single integrated MSK (IMSK) service.

The new service will ensure patients are seen by the right person at the right time by the right person.

It will reduce duplication, improve waiting times, patient outcomes and patient experience.

Referrals from all sources across north Cumbria will go through a single point of access.

The single point of access will be fully operational in October 2022.

The new contact details are: or call 0333 014 2876.

NCIC's Laura Hipple elected to RCOG Council  

NCIC’s Dr Laura Hipple has been elected as one of five Vice Presidents of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Dr Hipple, who is an Associate Specialist and SAS Lead/Tutor at NCIC, will take up the honorary role in December.

She said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been elected by RCOG Council members to this position – not least because it is the first time ever that a SAS doctor has held such a position in the College.

“It is a big responsibility as there are lots of challenges in our profession currently – both nationally and internationally. But whatever role I am given as an RCOG Officer I will do my very best to try and make a positive difference for the doctors in our specialty and the women we serve.

“I don’t yet know what portfolio I will be given as the President Elect and Council will be deciding this now all the elections have taken place.”

Nursing Times nomination for Meena 

A nurse at the Cumberland Infirmary has been nominated for an award.

Elm C nurse, Meena Sarangapani has been nominated for the Overseas Nurse of the Year at the Nursing Times Workforce Summit and Awards.

Meena says she loves caring for elderly people and people with psychiatry problems.

She said: “Recently I’ve been interested in dementia and wanted to build up my career within dementia nursing. My current role as an Admiral Nurse is quite challenging and I am looking forward to giving it my best shot. It’s a learning day every day and I feel contented working on this ward. I get job satisfaction every day I leave my shift.”  Meena will head to London in November for the ceremony. Good luck Meena!

CQC Inpatient Survey positive results

The CQC published the results of the 2021 adult inpatient survey yesterday which shows that the majority of patients have a good overall experience in our hospitals and are treated with dignity and respect.  The national survey of adult inpatients experiences involved 134 NHS acute trusts in England. Responses were received from 62,235 patients who were in hospital in November 2021 which was a response rate of 39.5%.

For North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, on a scale of 0-10, our patients rated their experience 8.1 and reported 9.2 on being treated with dignity and respect.  Other key headlines:

  • 503 patients responded to the survey which was a response rate of 41.23%
  • Our trust’s results were better or somewhat better than most trusts for 3 questions.
  • Our trust’s results were about the same as other trusts for 44 questions.
  • Our trust’s results were worse than most trusts for 0 questions.

Jill Foster, Chief Nurse, said: “It’s also pleasing to note that at a time when we know we have been significantly challenged with staffing that we have been able to maintain a good experience for most of our patients in line with other trusts. 

“We know that we need to improve communication with our patients and we are taking action to support this including increased investment in staffing and the recruitment of more volunteers to support the wards.  We have also set up a patient experience forum to more systematically review feedback from our patients and identify improvements. Delivering safe, high quality care for our patients is our absolute priority, and I hope with these actions we will see an improvement next year.”

The next inpatient survey will be conducted on patients who are in hospital later this year – around November 22.

Do you feel safe? campaign launches

A campaign to give support to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse or neglect has been launched by the Trust.  The ‘How Safe do You feel?’ campaign explains that staff who work at the Cumberland Infirmary, the West Cumberland Hospital and across all community services will ask as part of their routine enquires ‘How safe do you feel?’ The Trust would like to encourage anyone who does not feel safe or may be experiencing any form of abuse to access NCIC services as a safe space to speak up.

Winter vaccinations

Those who are eligible will have been called for their flu and covid boosters.   To find out more including where you can get yours or if would like some further information, please visit this page.   Staff across NCIC have been offered their winter vaccinations, and over 1000 staff have already had their boosters.

Awareness weeks and months

This month we marked Sickle Cell Awareness Month, Falls Awareness and ICON – a campaign for parents and carers to help with infant crying.

Dates for the diary

Save the date for our Annual Members Meeting, which this year will be held on 9th November 2022.  The meeting will be held face to face in Carlisle, with the option for people to join virtually if they prefer. Watch out on our news channels next month for details on how to join, how to ask a question and to view presentations from the Chair and Chief Executive prior to the meeting.

Member and Governor update

William Miskelly, Deputy Lead Governor

It’s the end of September already, it has been a month with a few ups and downs. On the 1st of September we had our first in person general meeting of the Governor’s Council in a few years during which we agreed that this year’s Annual Members Meeting will be an hybrid one. We have listened and discussed the pros and cons of in-person and virtual meetings. While both have merit in their own ways both do have downsides so for the benefit of our members and to make it more accessible to more people you can choose which way suits you.

During this month the Trust like most people and organisations in the UK observed the national mourning due to the loss of our Queen who for so many of us has been a national symbol of progression and stability.  Throughout this month there has also been an Election going on to join the Governor’s Council here at NCIC – the results of this will be shared soon. I am sure our new and re-elected colleagues will be welcomed by all of us. I look forward to working with you and getting to know you if you want to get in touch.

On Saturday 24th September I went along to Cumbria Pride in Carlisle along with staff from a other departments in our Trust. Again, this was another first for me. I have only ever met some staff on screen and it was lovely to meet people in person. It was brilliant to get out and about meeting so many people. Thanks for having us along Cumbria Pride I hope to come along next year to Silloth and Carlisle. 

In October the Governor’s Council will continue representing your area and your views about health care in North Cumbria if you feel like you want to speak with a governor from your area please remember you can get in touch via emailing us at We will be happy to speak with you and see how we can help, If you would like us to attend a community event please also get in touch and we can see if we can get something sorted. Until next month keep yourselves safe and keep in touch.

Until next month keep yourselves safe and if you want to get in touch email us at or call 01228 603761 and ask you can speak to your local governor.

Become a member

Anyone living in Cumbria over the age of 14 can become a member, you can choose how much or how little you want to be involved – join today.

Concerns or comments

If you have any concerns or comments please contact your governors on the email below. We are here to raise any concerns on your behalf.

More information on the members of the Governors’ Council and their role can be found on our website. If you have any comments or suggestions please contact us via the email below: 

Until next monththank you