Letters What went wrong at Addenbrooke’s?

Care Quality Commission’s unfair treatment of Addenbrooke’s Hospital

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5711 (Published 27 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5711
  1. Nick Mann, general practitioner1
  1. 1Well Street Surgery, London E9 7TA, UK
  1. drnickmann{at}gmail.com

There is no contextual explanation to justify why Addenbrooke’s Hospital was put into special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), forcing the loss of its chief executive officer and distracting focus from patient care to satisfying the inspectorate.1

So their new electronic patient record system didn’t work properly when it was rolled out; neither did universal credit, but that’s hardly going to bring down Iain Duncan Smith or the government. A matter for condemnation by CQC, really?

Invidious CQC judgments over “disconnects” between staff and management visions, long waiting times, and so on are a small part of a much bigger picture: one that depicts government regulatory bodies apparently unable to recognise what doctors, patients, and the public rightly perceive as an excellent provider of care in a hospital.

Doesn’t it seem strange to anyone that, as the King’s Fund repeatedly publishes calls for emergency funding for an NHS in melt down, the Department of Health and CQC continue to expect and demand all NHS services to still run to perfection?

I think most people will wonder what the government and CQC’s purpose is in trying to undermine this exemplary pillar of the NHS. At best, it will undergo a destabilising change of leadership, an unhealthy focus on ticking the right boxes, a period of fear and uncertainty for staff and patients, and the now familiar institutional humiliation of the NHS by this government.

As the s**t hits the fan, the people truly responsible for the ongoing demolition of the NHS are making sure that the fan is pointing in the other direction—even at excellent hospitals like Addenbrooke’s. It is time the wind changed.


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5711



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