Monitor; the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts has taken regulatory action against Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Reasons for the regulator investigating include excessive waiting times for cancer treatment, A&E performance and a number of ‘never events’ which are mistakes that should never happen such as surgical instruments being left inside patients after an operation or patients having the wrong part of their body operated on.

Managing Director of Provider Regulation 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.

"We note the Trust has a new chair and will shortly appoint a new chief executive. We expect them to demonstrate they are getting the Trust back on track as quickly as possible."

Patient safety must be the priority

Diane Abbott, the shadow public health minister, said: "It's right that Monitor takes action because patient safety must be the priority. Why isn't patient care a top priority for this government? I'm concerned that we're seeing the beginnings of a national patient care crisis here. The NHS has been thrown into chaos, the government has become sidetracked by an expensive ideological reorganisation, and they have boasted about increasing NHS spending when in fact they have cut it in real terms.

"The government urgently needs to start focusing on ensuring patient safety, instead of their blinkered pursuit of forcing free-market competition into our health services."

Linda Millband, a clinical negligence solicitor from Thompsons Solicitors said “Monitor’s concerns should be taken very seriously by the trust. Swift action needs to be taken to ensure no more patients suffer as a result of poor performance."

Thompsons Solicitors is one of the leading clinical negligence and personal injury firms in the UK and is currently advising over 350 clients who received unnecessary breast cancer treatment or inappropriate ‘cleavage sparing’ mastectomies from Ian Paterson, a former surgeon at a number of hospitals in the midlands.