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Governance review – Myles Bradbury – Cambridge University Hospitals

The client

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Healthcare

Challenge

Governance Issues.

Verita were asked to consider whether the trust should have prevented or earlier identified Myles Bradbury’s criminal behaviour; whether policies and processes intended to protect patients were robust, understood and followed, and whether there are any ways in which the trust could and should improve safeguarding in future.

Scope

Verita conducted an independent investigation into governance arrangements in the paediatric haematology and oncology service at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, following the Myles Bradbury case.

Process

The investigation team, involving Lucy Scott-Moncrieff and Verita partner Barry Morris, interviewed 48 people, including trust staff at all levels, families of patients of the paediatric and oncology service, outside professionals and Myles Bradbury. We spoke to healthcare regulators and professional bodies about appropriate standards and looked at the independent reports and recommendations arising from a number of high profile cases of the sexual abuse of patients by doctors and other healthcare staff to see what they could add to the review.

Findings

We found that;

  • Myles Bradbury acted alone
  • As soon as a concern was raised the trust acted promptly
  • There were some weaknesses in policies
  • Improvements needed to safeguarding training
  • Ways of helping patients to recognise unusual behaviour needs to be developed

Recommendations

We identified a number of specific ways in which the Trust could and should improve policies and processes to make it more difficult for staff to misuse their authority with patients and get away with it.

Outcome

Some of these recommendations have relevance across the NHS, particularly our suggestion that patients and families should be given more information about the details of treatment and the expected behaviour of staff, and should be encouraged to raise any query about any aspect of care treatment or behaviour at any time.

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