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CUH statement on CQC report and Monitor announcement

22 September 2015
A statement from Jane Ramsey, Chair of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and David Wherret, Acting Chief Executive.

Jane Ramsey said: “I would like to say sorry to our patients for a lack of effective systems and processes across our Trust, which has led to the Care Quality Commission today rating our hospitals as inadequate. We take this, and being placed in ‘special measures’ by our regulator Monitor, very seriously. Part of Monitor’s enforcement action means we have a number of clearly defined quality, financial and governance failings to rectify as soon as possible. We will take rapid action to address these concerns and maintain our record of safety and high-quality care.

“The care our staff provide has been rated as ‘outstanding’ and we are very proud of them, and we continue to have a strong track record on safety, clinical excellence and introducing ground-breaking treatments. However, the CQC’s inspection highlighted concerns with the protocols and processes that underpin the way we work. This has led to problems such as long waits for outpatient appointments and irregular checks on medical equipment.

“We are determined to put this right as quickly as possible, to make sure our processes are robust and transparent, so every step of a patient’s journey can be effectively monitored from the ward to the Board. We have already taken action to address some of these concerns, including recruiting more staff and ensuring an effective nitrous oxide extraction system is in place by the end of the year. We will be working with the CQC, Monitor, our partners and staff to develop further action plans to rapidly address the rest of the concerns and we are confident we will have them in place quickly.

“I would like to thank all our staff for their continued dedication and hard work, in often very demanding circumstances. We know our patients expect safe, kind and excellent care here, and that’s what we aim to provide every day.

Interim Chief Executive, David Wherrett, said: “Against a backdrop of increased demand and tighter resources, our services continue to be recognised nationally and internationally for their safety and patient outcomes. Patients are less likely to die here, be harmed, or catch a hospital-acquired infection than at almost any other trust in the country.

“Today’s CQC report makes it clear that if we are to continue, and build, on this success, we need to make sure our internal processes are strong and effectively support the delivery of these outstanding outcomes. This is a helpful challenge and we will make all the necessary improvements so that we operate, and can show we operate, effectively and transparently. We look forward to working with the CQC to resolve these issues over the coming months.

“In the meantime, I want to reassure patients that when they visit Addenbrooke’s or The Rosie hospitals, they will be in safe hands, receive outstanding care from compassionate staff and be treated by leading clinicians.”

Examples of the Trust’s outcomes include:

• an excellent record on hospital-acquired MRSA bacteraemia and one of the safest acute Trusts amongst our peers in this respect

• nearly 98% of patients experienced harm-free care here, again this makes us one of the top five safest teaching hospitals

• one of the lowest death rates in the country, on the two measures of mortality - the hospital standardised mortality ratio (HSMR), which compares the expected rate of death in a hospital with the actual rate of death, and the summary hospital-level mortality index (SHMI), which covers deaths after hospital treatment and up to 30 days after discharge

• maternity services are safe: even though we receive the sickest of the sick patients, we have not had a maternal death during childbirth for over seven years; our still birth rate is the lowest in UK; we have a low number of reported serious incidents despite a strong reporting culture; no never events in three years; we are a level three tertiary centre with a fetal medicine unit, providing the highest levels of care

• we have some of the best cancer survival rates in Europe - in the field of solid organ transplantation we have the best 10 year survival from listing outcomes in the UK for pancreas transplants, and the best in England for liver and kidney transplants

• 91% of our staff would recommend CUH as a place to receive treatment, a figure which is 20% higher than the national NHS acute trust average.

David Wherrett concluded: “Patients are the only reason we are here, but working within the most challenged health economy in the country makes our job more difficult. We are looking for support from our local and national partners to help us succeed.”

Jane Ramsey
David Wherrett