The Christie Downgraded By Watchdog

The Christie Hospital
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam In: Medical Negligence

A renowned cancer hospital in Manchester, known for its global standing, experienced a reduction in its rating. This comes after inspections by a regulatory body due to allegations of staff bullying.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) told the Christie NHS Foundation Trust it ‘requires improvement’ regarding safety and leadership.

Furthermore, previous external reviews, commissioned in 2020 by NHS England, found current and former staff had reported “instances of inappropriate behaviours and unfair treatment… feeling intimidated…the existence of cliques, the abuse of positional power”.

The report adds “An experience of bullying, harassment and racial prejudice was described along with lack of respect at work.”

This comes amid recent similar reports from University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), of a similar nature. The report echoes the same issues of bullying and workplace harassment.

Results of the CQCs Report into The Christie

According to the latest CQC report, the trust’s overall grade has been revised from ‘outstanding’ to ‘good’, with ‘requires improvement’ ratings given for safety and leadership.

The report said: “Staff told us that some senior leaders were not always visible or approachable…

“Very senior executives were heavily invested in the promotion and protection of the trust’s reputation.

“This impacted negatively on some staff; staff did not always feel supported and valued.

“A minority of staff expressed reservations about raising concerns and others did not always feel listened to. Although, staff remained focused on the needs of patients receiving care.”

The CQC conducted an unannounced inspection at The Christie Hospital’s main site. It was part of their ongoing efforts to ensure healthcare service safety and quality.

It added: “Inspectors also undertook an announced well-led inspection of the overall trust partly due to information of concern received from whistleblowers regarding the culture and leadership of the trust.

“Following this inspection, the overall rating for the trust has changed from outstanding to good.”

Compassionate and Kind Staff

Nevertheless, the team of experts acknowledged exceptional practices at The Christie, specifically in medical care. Additionally, found that staff members treated individuals with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and attended to their unique requirements.

They also provided emotional support to people, families and carers, she added.

However, by not always carrying out risk assessments in a timely manner they were potentially putting people at risk of harm.

An Insider’s Perspective into The Christie From Former Employee

Rebecca Wight, an advanced nurse practitioner, was employed at The Christie, Europe’s largest cancer centre, starting in 2014. However, she resigned from her position in December, stating that her attempts to blow the whistle on issues were disregarded.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight, she revealed that the trust had made efforts to manipulate the situation.

“The well-led inspection was basically run by The Christie,” she said.

“The CQC requested a few forums with clinical staff. Those forums were infiltrated by leaders.

“The forum I went to was attended by senior leaders in the executive team.”

Ms Wight said it was done “to intimidate staff to not speak up or maybe not speak openly about leadership”.

Ms Wight and several others took the initiative to write to the CQC, cautioning the inspectors about the carefully curated and inaccurate portrayal they were being presented with. In response, the CQC organized an off-site session, allowing individuals to speak anonymously and share their experiences.

Roger Kline, an expert in NHS workforce and culture, informed BBC Newsnight that The Christie fostered a culture that discouraged people from raising concerns.

He said: “The trust response is more likely… to see the person raising the concerns as the problem rather than the issues they have raised,” adding this was “not good for patient care”.

Finally, he adds, “I think for a trust like The Christie, a small specialist trust, any form of downgrading is a significant problem.”

Making an NHS Negligence Claim

Unfortunately, we have been seeing an increasing amount of hospital trusts receiving a downgrade in their rating. A combination of poor internal management and understaffing has resulted in stressed staff at breaking point. As a result, solicitors have been seeing a rise in medical negligence claims as increasing numbers of patients are suffering due to medical negligence.

Furthermore, with the latest statistic of 28% of adults experiencing or knowing a family member who has experienced poor care from the NHS, it’s important to raise awareness that you or a loved one may be able to receive compensation for the suffering.

If you have suffered because of medical negligence, then our solicitors can help you. Our specialist medical negligence solicitors will help you go through your medical negligence claim with care and expertise, helping you receive the compensation you deserve.

During a consultation, we will go through the prospects of your claim with you first. If we believe it to be in your best interest to pursue a negligence claim then we will advise you so, however, you are under no obligation to proceed. If you do wish to proceed, we will handle your claim on a no-win, no-fee basis, so you do not have to worry about any legal costs.

Common claims our no-win, no-fee medical negligence solicitors have handled include:

Are you suffering after receiving negligent medical care? Request your free, no-obligation consultation today.

Get in touch