Cambridge Hospitals NHS Trust 'operated on wrong patient'

A health watchdog is taking action against a Cambridgeshire hospital trust which performed eye surgery on the wrong person.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust performed four botched operations, including leaving instruments inside two people.

Surgeons also operated on the wrong part of the body of a patient, Monitor said.

The trust said it was "determined to improve".

It has been ordered to look at the effectiveness of its services and improve the quality and organisation of healthcare for its patients.

The trust also has to report to Monitor every month.

The regulator said that since September 2011, eight "never events" - instances which are never supposed to happen - had happened at the trust, including four between September and October last year.

Wrong lens

Monitor said that the "wrong person surgery" related to a patient who had the wrong surgical lens fitted.

Several patients were attending the hospital for similar operations at the same time, a trust spokeswoman said.

The wrong lens was fitted to the wrong patient and then quickly removed.

The patient did not suffer any ill effects, the spokeswoman said.

Monitor said it was also stepping in because the trust had failed to give cancer patients treatment in the recommended time and had not treated emergency patients within four hours.

It said the trust was in "significant breach" of the terms of its authorisation and was concerned that the hospital board had not dealt adequately with the range of issues the trust had faced over the years.

Monitor's chief operating officer, Stephen Hay, said: "This is not the first time we have called the trust in to explain itself.

"We are disappointed that the board has not resolved these issues."

Jane Ramsey, who became chair of the trust at the beginning of the month, said: "We are determined to reverse the situation as soon as possible.

"We will be focusing on turning this trust around.

"Our priority remains the care of our patients - they are at the heart of everything we do."

The trust, which runs Addenbrooke's and the Rosie hospital in Cambridge, has been ordered to commission a "governance and effectiveness review".

A board-level "experienced turnaround expert" should also be appointed, Monitor recommended.

Monitor is an independent regulator of NHS hospital trusts, ensuring they have good leadership and are financially robust.

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