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Specialist cancer trust awarded 'outstanding' rating by CQC

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A nationally renowned specialist trust has been rated outstanding following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, which specialises in cancer care, has been given the highest possible overall rating.

“This is a clear example of a trust leading in its field, and I commend all the staff”

Mike Richards

The Manchester-based trust was rated “outstanding” in four domains that the regualtor inspects against – being well led, responsive, caring and effective. It was also rated “good” for safety.

Surgery, medical care, end of life care, radiotherapy and chemotherapy services were all rated “outstanding”. However, surgery’s top score was in spite of being rated “requires improvement” for safety. All other services were rated “good”.

The Christie is the largest single site cancer centre in Europe. It serves a population of 3.2 million in the North West, but also treats patients from across England for some specialised services.

The trust is part of a national acute care collaboration vanguard focused on cancer with the Royal Marsden and University College Hospitals London foundation trusts.

In their report, which is published today, the inspectors highlighted a number of examples that contributed the trust’s outstanding rating, including:

  • Surgical teams offering bespoke multi-speciality treatments to patients, which improved outcomes and survival rates
  • The trust’s programme of “alternative and complementary therapies” that helped patients with their wellbeing
  • End of life care, which is being used as a model for other cancer centres
  • An optional physiotherapy lymphedema service for breast cancer patients

Commenting on the trust, CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “Staff are highly motivated and speak positively about the care they provide, and what they told us is a reflection of the friendly and open culture at the trust.

“The trust is also helping to shape the future of cancer care,” he said. “Nationally, it is well known for the contribution made by patients and staff to some very important clinical research projects. It is also impressive that the trust has established The Christie School of Oncology to provide specialist education for students and health professionals.

“Our inspectors were struck by the commitment to excellence that filters through every area of the trust. This includes investing in the latest technology and using clinical research to develop new treatments to secure the best outcomes for patients,” said Sir Mike.

“This is a clear example of a trust leading in its field, and I commend all the staff on their outstanding rating,” he added.

“It is the culture of the Christie to relentlessly pursue innovations”

Roger Spencer

Roger Spencer, the Christie’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted and very proud to have received an outstanding rating from the CQC, the highest we could have been given.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the outstanding research that happens at the Christie together with our partner organisations, which provides opportunities for our patients to be involved in trial treatments when standard treatments have been exhausted,” he said.

“Notwithstanding these fantastic results, it is the culture of the Christie to relentlessly pursue innovations that deliver even better outcomes for our patients,” he added.


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