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Royal Wolverhampton’s chemotherapy service

16 October 2015
  • Public,
  • Hospitals

You may have seen reports in the media about a historical case of patients being given chemotherapy treatment that was not recommended in national guidelines at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital. This happened between 2005 and 2010.

The Care Quality Commission was first alerted to the concerns during the comprehensive inspection of the trust in September 2013.

This was referenced in our most recent inspection report of the trust, which we published in September 2015. We rated the trust as “Requires Improvement”.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said: “We were informed that an internal investigation had been conducted in 2009. This showed that a number of patients had received treatment for their cancer which was not recommended in national guidelines. We were also informed that this non-standard practice had ceased by 2009.

“In 2014, the trust commissioned a further external investigation by two leading oncologists. This concluded that there had been unsatisfactory practice but that with one exception this had resulted in no long-term harm. This review also looked at a more recent group of patients and confirmed that the unsatisfactory practice had ceased.

“We inspected the trust again in June 2015. Our inspection team included a senior cancer specialist to enable us to look specifically at the trust’s current chemotherapy service. The conclusion of this inspection matched that of the previous reviews. We found that changes had been made and that the trust was providing a safe chemotherapy service. We have had several conversations with a whistleblower about these issues.

“Our report was published in September 2015 with a reference to the whistleblower. It concludes that the trust has acted properly to concerns raised and taken steps to learn from the incident.

“However, although our report went through a factual accuracy check, unfortunately there was a typographical error in it, which should have stated that the care the patients received was ‘not in line with practice at the time’. This has since been corrected.

“Making sure that patients get safe, high-quality and compassionate care continues to be our priority. If we receive information to suggest that patients are not being cared for appropriately then we will not hesitate to take action.”

Last updated:
29 May 2017