Addenbrooke's Hospital Placed In Special Measures

Lawyers Say Caring Medical Staff Need To Be Able To Focus On The Job


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has been placed in special measures after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found it was "inadequate".

The Trust runs Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Rosie Birth Centre but a new CQC report has highlighted concerns regarding staffing levels, delays in outpatient treatment and governance failings.

The report also called for the trust to implement a recovery plan to address its finances and to strengthen its leadership. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found staff shortages and long-standing "serious" problems had been ignored.

Inspectors found that there were too few midwives to cover the number of births at the Rosie birth centre. There was also too much nitrous oxide gas used for children’s pain relief known to be circulating in the centre but little done to tackle the problem.

The CQC gave the hospital an outstanding rating for its caring staff. However the overall rating of inadequate means the NHS regulator Monitor will now be working with the Trust and has been given powers to take action such as replacing senior staff if improvements are not made quickly enough.

The Trust's chairwoman Jane Ramsey said: "I would like to say sorry to our patients for a lack of effective systems and processes across our trust, which led to the CQC rating our hospitals as inadequate. We will take rapid action to address concerns and maintain our record of safety and high-quality care."

Expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office said that it was crucial that leadership was improved to enable the medical staff to focus on providing patients with the appropriate care.

Expert Opinion
“There is a clear need to improve the way which Addenbrooke’s operates and we welcome the swift action to identify and improve shortcomings in the leadership and systems which will hopefully enable the hard-working medical staff to get on with their jobs. Patient safety must be the number one priority as they seek to improve the way the trust is run.

“What is worrying is that a review at the end of last year flagged a few problems which seem to have escalated in a short space of time.

“It’s important to note that the report did pay tribute to some of the positive elements at the hospital, most notably the caring staff, the effective multidisciplinary working and the emergency department and it’s leading regional major trauma centre which were also praised.

“The NHS Trust must now learn from the past and ensure that in future the hospital is run with more robust systems to improve staffing levels and stronger governance."
Guy Forster, Partner

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Medical Negligence.