By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Monitor takes action against Cambridge Hospitals

Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust has become the biggest organisation yet to be found in “significant breach” of its terms of authorisation by its regulator Monitor.

The move follows the trust, which runs one of the UK’s most prestigious teaching hospitals, failing to meet a raft of targets including for cancer treatment and accident and emergency waiting times.

Foundation trust regulator Monitor said its concerns about targets “were compounded by multiple occurrences of preventable patient safety incidents and poor financial performance”.

It added that the board had not dealt adequately with the range of issues the trust has faced in recent years.

Managing director of provider regulation Stephen Hay said: “This is not the first time we have called the trust in to explain itself. We are disappointed that the board has not resolved these issues.

“We note the trust has a new chair and will shortly appoint a new chief executive. We expect them to demonstrate they are getting the trust back on track as quickly as possible.”

Why the regulator has acted

Monitor escalated the trust because it missed its 62 day cancer (GP referral) target for the third consecutive quarter (at quarter one).

The trust’s performance was 78.1 per cent against a target of 85 per cent. The 62 day cancer targets have been breached in seven of the last eight quarters to Q1 12-13.

At quarter one the Trust had missed its referral to treatment target (admitted) for the second time in a row - performance was 85.9 per cent against a target of 90 per cent.

Also the trust missed its A&E target for two quarters in a row. It achieved 92.5 per cent against a target of 95 per cent at quarter one.

Monitor has ordered the trust to commission a wide-ranging board governance and effectiveness review with a specific scope and timescale, and instructed it to appoint an experienced turnaround expert at board level.

The watchdog added it would keep the trust “under close regulatory scrutiny and the board is required to report to the regulator on its monthly performance”.

If the situation is not resolved within the agreed timescales, Monitor may decide to take further action.

Cambridge chairman Jane Ramsey, responding, said: “We take Monitor’s concerns very seriously and we are determined to reverse the situation as soon as possible.

“My top priority, as the new chairman, will be to get to grips with these performance issues with my team and we will be setting up a taskforce to swiftly get back on track.”

Cambridge statement in full

Cambridge chairman, Jane Ramsey, said: “We take Monitor’s concerns very seriously and we are determined to reverse the situation as soon as possible. My top priority, as the new chairman, will be to get to grips with these performance issues with my team and we will be setting up a taskforce to swiftly get back on track.”

“We will be focusing on turning this trust around, so once more we can be justifiably proud of our record as one of the leading trusts in the country.”

“We are working to improve our performance on meeting targets every month but we know we could do better.

We are treating more people than ever before and our health outcomes are amongst the best in the country.

“I am committed to retaining this achievement but also to meeting the standards that are required. Our priority remains the care of our patients – they are at the heart of everything we do.”

Readers' comments (13)

  • More work for the Big 4, Monitor is a cash cow for them.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • If more evidence was needed here it is ! The current FT model is bust, it was designed at a time when the NHS wallowed in growth. More will follow this path I am affraid

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • No wonder the CE scarpered...

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Now, watch out for the old boys' merry-go-round -
    Monitor setting up work for the management consultants, setting up work for the turnround parachutists, setting up work for their pals ..... and watch the good stuff at Cambridge, (and their operational overspend) take the hit!!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Perhaps they are spending too much time developing grandiose capital plans?

    How much Board & Executive time, effort and money has been spent since 2009 creating the "Cambridge Bio-Medical Campus" vision versus concentrating on their core purpose - providing effective and efficient healthcare.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Agree with 2.42- Providing effective and efficient health care - core business remember what we are there for

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • perhaps they are focussing on that, rather than on targets. I would happily go there as a patient.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • The sequence of events is now:
    1. Monitor insists on appointment of Board Adviser on £4,000 per day
    2. Turnround Director appointed on £1,500 per day
    3. One of the 'Big Four' produce a Cost Improvement Plan and charge £400,000
    4. Local management try in vain to implement a plan they know is impossible
    5. Managerial sackings and resignations take place.
    6. Deficit rises and patient care deteriorates
    7. Circle get invoited to take over!

    Good luck Addenbrookes - you'll need it.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Given that large well endowed FTs are failing is it now time to revise the whole plan to get all Trusts to FT? There is a disconnect between quality of care and finances and finance seems to be most important!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Most comments above jump to systemic conclusions. Why? Addenbrooke's is known for a bullying culture, where some clinicians get sacked over nothing and others are protected to the hilt. Grandiose investments get put through, with the associated revenue budgets secured so that on delivery there is no staffing to operate them. It sounds to me that the quality of management is a serious here. Let's deal with that first before scrapping the FT concept altogether.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Most comments above jump to systemic conclusions. Why? Addenbrooke's is known for a bullying culture, where some clinicians get sacked over nothing and others are protected to the hilt. Grandiose investments get put through, with the associated revenue budgets secured so that on delivery there is no staffing to operate them. It sounds to me that the quality of management is a serious here. Let's deal with that first before scrapping the FT concept altogether.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Well well. Dr Foster hospital of the year 2012. There may be some delays and a spanking from Monitor but I know where I would rather go as a patient. Top upper quartile for effectiveness and patient outcomes. Well done Addenbrookes and the Rosie

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Perhaps Monitor need to learn from Dr Foster in terms of measuring what actually matters to patients rather than what the DH operating framework says should be 'complied with. Perhaps then there would be a whole load of different Trusts in Breach (ie the ones that dont do safety but do money and waiting times)

    Unsuitable or offensive?

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Share this



Related images

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

Sign up to get the latest health policy news direct to your inbox