Hinchingbrooke Hospital CQC report 'had 300 errors'

Hinchingbrooke Hospital chief executive Hisham Abdel-Rahman
Image caption Hisham Abdel-Rahman said the Care Quality Commission report was "problematic"

A damning report of a privately run hospital that is due to be returned to the NHS contained 300 factual errors, its chief executive has said.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, run by Circle, was branded "inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last month.

However, its chief executive, Hisham Abdel-Rahman, said the report was "problematic" and full of errors.

The CQC accepted some mistakes but said it stood by the report.

Mr Abdel-Rahman was giving evidence to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on Monday.

Image caption Hinchingbrooke Hospital has been managed by Circle since 2012

Circle announced on 9 January that it was in talks to ensure an "orderly withdrawal" from its contract to run the hospital, near Huntingdon, citing "unprecedented" increases in A&E attendances and funding cuts.

The CQC released its report hours later, raising "a number of serious concerns" about staffing, risks to patient safety and medical care.

Mr Abdel-Rahman told the committee he was disappointed the inadequate rating had not been changed, even though the CQC had acknowledged 65% of the 300 errors.

In one example, he told the committee a member of staff was criticised for shouting at a patient, who later turned out to be profoundly deaf.

Stewart Jackson, committee member and Conservative MP for Peterborough, told David Behan, the head of the CQC, that the report was based on "anecdote - some might say tittle-tattle".

"You have traduced the reputation of a popular hospital," Mr Jackson said. "You should be ashamed of yourself."

Image caption Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson questioned whether the CQC was "fit for purpose"
Image caption David Behan said he stood by the CQC's findings

But Mr Behan said he stood by the report and many of the changes pointed out by the hospital had been based on its presentation and spelling.

"I am not ashamed of myself," he said.

"We did find good care at Hinchingbrooke but we also found care that needs to improve and needs to improve quickly."

A spokeswoman for the CQC said the "exact number of changes" made to the report, which she said was at a draft stage, was not known.

"None of the changes that were highlighted during the factual accuracy process would have been about the overall rating of the provider," she said.

"Our judgments are based on what our inspection team saw and heard on their visits."

The hospital, which was taken over in 2012 when it faced closure with debts of £40m, is to be returned to the NHS in March.

A follow up report by the CQC, due to be published in the next few weeks, is expected to say improvements have been made.

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