Royston mayor ‘genuinely surprised’ after Addenbrooke’s Hospital placed in special measures

Royal Voluntary Service are appealing for volunteers to help out at Addenbrooke's Hospital Picture

Royal Voluntary Service are appealing for volunteers to help out at Addenbrooke's Hospital Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

People living in Royston and district have spoken of their surprise and disappointment that Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital has been put in special measures after being rated inadequate by inspectors.

Inspectors say the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest in the country with more than 1,000 beds at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Birth Centre, had a shortage of staff in a number of areas, including critical care services.

They expressed concerns about staffing levels, delays in outpatient treatment and governance failings while recognising the efforts of staff and rating the quality of care as ‘outstanding’.

But the Care Quality Commission’s chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richards said senior management had “lost their grip on some of the basics”.

The trust, which is said to be predicting a £64m deficit this year, has apologised to patients. Its chief executive Keith McNeil stepped down suddenly last week, citing “a number of very serious challenges.”

Royston mayor Ben Lewis said he was ‘genuinely surprised’ at the findings and ‘will not be deterred’ by the report.

He said: “A teaching hospital of the size and complexity of Addenbrooke’s will always be difficult to manage.

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“I have nothing but the highest regard for the NHS and the quality of care they strive to provide.”

Councillor Aidan Van de Weyer, who represents Orwell and Barrington on South Cambs District Council, said the problems may be down to budget constraints and because it is taking the strain for problems elsewhere in the NHS.

He said: “Whatever its problems, Addenbrooke’s is a fantastic asset. It offers a huge range of care of outstanding quality.

“It is true that some patients and relatives have poor experiences but I am quite certain that this is a reflection of the budget constraints of the hospital. I know that staff at all levels are motivated to do the very best they can.”

Councillor Susan van de Ven, who sits on Cambridgeshire County Council’s health committee, said cuts to the health budget and problems of staff recruitment, combined with a surge in demand for accident and emergency services have created the ‘perfect storm’.

Dr Neil Modha, chief clinical officer of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are obviously disappointed with the findings but we are pleased with the approach Addenbrooke’s is taking and we will continue to support the hospital. We commit to ensuring that necessary improvements are made as soon as possible.

“Patients should be reassured that they will receive good care at Addenbrooke’s.”