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What is going on at Addenbrookes?

Papers published today for Thursday’s meeting of the governors of Addenbrookes reveal an organisation in turmoil, says Labour’s Parliamentary spokesperson for Cambridge Daniel Zeichner.

The papers show that an extraordinary meeting of the council of governors had to be held on November 1, and that numerous concerns were raised:  a second ‘formal escalation’ meeting in 12 months called by the regulator, Monitor; the continuing failure to meet the 62-day cancer target; the failure to meet the 18 week referral to treatment target, with 600 patients having operations cancelled last winter; failure to meet the 4 hour Accident and Emergency target for two successive quarters.

In the words of the governors:  “The governors are under no illusions, the Trust is in the midst of some challenging times, the worst since becoming a Foundation Trust” and warn that “failure to achieve and maintain this improvement will result in a serious loss of reputation for the Trust and a poor experience for our patients.”

Mr Zeichner questions why Addenbrookes is in this situation when only two years ago it was a nationally-leading, highly successful hospital: “Governors on Thursday need to ask some hard questions. How can it be that such a successful hospital can now find itself facing problems on so many fronts? Many of us warned that the funding constraints and major reorganisation foisted on the NHS by the coalition government would have a negative impact on services, and patients in Cambridgeshire are now feeling the pain. The new Chair of Governors and Chief Executive have a tough inheritance from the previous team, but they need to get Addenbrookes back on track fast.”


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