The rating of a world-renowned cancer center accused of abuse and harassment has been downgraded.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester was downgraded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) from “outstanding” to “good” following an unannounced inspection.
A previous external review, commissioned by NHS England in 2020, found that current and former employees had reported “instances of inappropriate behavior and unfair treatment… feeling intimidated… the existence of cliques and the abuse of positional power.”
“An experience of bullying, harassment, and racial prejudice was described, along with a lack of respect at work,” added reviewers.
The trust “requires improvement” in terms of safety and leadership, according to the new CQC report. And staff told inspectors that some senior executives were “not always visible or approachable.”
“Very senior executives were heavily invested in the promotion and protection of the trust’s reputation,” according to the report.
This hurt some employees; employees did not always feel supported and valued.
The CQC announced an inspection “due to whistleblower concerns about the trust’s culture and leadership” after the secret visit.
As part of its “continual checks on the safety and quality of healthcare services,” it conducted an unannounced inspection of the acute medical services at Christie’s main campus.
However, the regulator stated that inspectors also discovered exceptional practice at the trust and that, in terms of medical care, “we discovered that staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and catered to their individual needs.”
The Christie is Europe’s largest single-site cancer center, treating over 60,000 patients annually.