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The National Health Service’s ‘special measures’: Cambridge – A case study

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The United Kingdom’s (UK) National Health Service (NHS) has a procedure, ‘special measures’, which is used to implement changes to a Trust when there are concerns about the quality of care being delivered. This case study uses the London Protocol to analyse how a plethora of factors contributed to an ‘inadequate’ rating and the subsequent initiation of the special measures procedure at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) in September 2015. External factors such as legal and political reform have a strong influence on healthcare as well as the substantial internal forces within the state-led NHS including finance, culture and management. Factors specific to CUH also had a significant role to play: the early adoption of a complete digital record system, costing over £200 m, adversely affected CUH Trust at this time and was implicated as a major factor in its inadequate performance. In addition, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) identified many other important shortcomings at CUH. The London Protocol is used to bring clarity and structure to the complexities of the Health Services Industry, both within and surrounding CUH during this period.



Other, Care Quality Commission, health services, improvement, management, National Health Service, special measures

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SAGE Publications