It’s a bit outside my brief but since so many Staughton residents (including me) use or have used Hinchingbrooke over the years, I thought it might be appropriate to summarise the findings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into the decision by Circle Health to withdraw from the contract. It’s a gripping read from start to finish and this brief summary does it no justice at all.
The first surprise is the number of organisations involved in managing and supervising the hospital. In addition to Circle Holdings (the ultimate owner) they are: the CEO of the hospital, the Care Quality Commission (CQC); the Cambridge and Peterborough Care Commissioning Group; the Department of Health, (DoH); and finally the NHS Trust Development Authority.
The report reveals a shocking lack of accountability and oversight. The man who negotiated the contract with Circle had departed for pastures new in the NHS. Circle Holdings was a loss-making company, based in Jersey, which had no experience of running such a complex hospital. Bodies which should have been supervising the hospital failed to do their job properly. And finally the Care Quality Commission, which has itself had a troubled history, compiled a report the integrity of which was questioned by the PAC. A question which was raised was how the hospital, which was described as first rate, became a basket case within the space of a few months.
All in all the PAC unravelled all the strands which led to the debacle and their report is a hard-hitting critique of everyone involved.
The whole proceedings can be viewed at: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=17182
Anthony Withers (861224)