“Addenbrooke’s is a big hospital: world scale, world class.”

The special measures imposed by the CQC inspectors on Addenbrooke’s Hospital were the subject of a question at the Cambridgeshire County Council meeting this week (14th Ocotber).

Cllr David Jenkins

The chair of the County Council’s Health Scrutiny committee is Histon councillor David Jenkins, who sits next to me on the Lib Dem benches.

David spoke up for Addenbrooke’s and commended the many positive aspects of its recent inspection that didn’t make the deadlines: the outstanding compassionate care of staff and the hospital’s clinical excellence.

This is what he said:

“Thank you for the question Ian and thank you for the advance notice.

Before I respond let me give a little background.
The Commission for Quality Care, (CQC), conducted a regular inspection of Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, I’ll refer to that as Addenbrooke’s, earlier this year. The inspection resulted in declaring Addenbrooke’s overall as inadequate and so the hospital has been placed in special measures.
The outcome of the inspection the was presented at an NHS ‘quality summit’ in September. During its presentation the CQC made it clear that, although the judgement was clear and appropriate, the compassionate care given by staff was rated as outstanding, and there were several examples of clinical excellence of the hospital. Addenbrookes is no mid-Staffs and it’s only the change in the inspection regime which has resulted in the two hospitals having the same rating.
CQC highlighted staff shortage, the impact of the EPIC implementation, a disconnect between operations and the board and poor medicines management. It’s also worth noting that the hospital was rated good on services for children and young people.
With respect to this council’s response I’m sure you appreciate that it has no executive authority where NHS trusts are concerned although through the NHS scrutiny role of the Health Committee it can challenge and otherwise show leadership. This is what we’ve done.
Shortly after the announcement the Director of Public Health and I met to consider it. Our main concern was that the health sector at large in Cambridgeshire, the CCG, other trusts and ourselves, should recognise that the Addenbrookes problem was our problem and that we shoud all be working together to address it with a view to Addenbrookes coming out of special measures as soon as possible.
We are satisfied that that is the case. The local NHS chief executives meet regularly and Addenbrookes is part of the discussions at their meeting. The common attitude was summed up by the CCG’s press release after the announcement in which is noted the strong negatives of the CQC judgement but at the same time highlighted Addenbrookes’ strengths.
Futhermore we have been talking to key contacts to ensure that they share this attitude. I have met the chairs of two of the trusts, including Addenbrookes itself, and will shortly be meeting with the chair of the CCG.
And finally as a part of its regular program of scrutiny the Health Committee will be scrutinising the Addenbrookes’ response to the CQC judgement in November. This will be attended by the CSC, Addenbrookes and the CCG.”

Petitions limit slashed. Road repairs taskforce set up.

The new Cambridgeshire County Council met last week. I spoke in two of the motions, both of which were voted through:

Petitions: the number of signatures to get a petition debated by the full Council is slashed from over 15,000 to just 3,000.

I seconded this motion, which was proposed by my colleague Cllr Ian Manning.

A Conservative amendment to change limit from 3,000 to 5,000 was defeated by 35 votes to 29 with both UKIP and Labour voting with the Lib Dem group to reject the proposed limit as still too high.

No petition had ever succeeded in reaching the old threshold, not even the massive Save Cambridgeshire Libraries petition of 2011, which was just over 8,000.

Tackling the road repairs backlog. proposed by Cllr David Jenkins

There is a staggering £300m backlog in our road repairs, and it is growing at £50m a year. Liberal Democrats in the last Council succeeding in getting a review, and an injection of £90m to do more work, which includes next month’s work on Hills Road, but it is not enough. This motion called for an officer taskforce to develop an action plan on addressing this deficit for next year’s budget.

I spoke on the importance of having decent roads and pavements for daily life, whether it is work, social or leisure activity; and the need for safe pavements of all of us, especially anyone with disabilities.

The motion was carried by 32 votes to 28.