A TEAM providing breast cancer care at Stafford Hospital has been slammed by a new report which questions the quality and safety of the service.
The review, carried out by the Greater Midlands Cancer Research Network, called the team “deeply dysfunctional” and said there were “serious concerns” about patient safety.
Medical Director of Mid Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Robert Courteney-Harris, said breast surgery services at Stafford Hospital were safe.
“Our aim is to provide our patients with the highest quality service,” he said. “We regularly monitor the results and outcomes for our patients and some concerns have been raised about specific aspects of the service.
“These are being addressed and we continue to work closely with our commissioners so that they are kept fully informed.”
Listing several serious concerns, the report describes “open hostility” between some members of the team, a lack of support from surgeons for the clinician leading the team and sections of patient notes left blank, that could lead to surgery being undertaken on the wrong breast.
Responding to the report on social networking site Twitter, Julie Bailey of Cure the NHS said: “This confirmed all my fears, no lessons have been learnt.
“Further evidence that Mid Staffs is still dangerous and dysfunctional.
“But worse, nobody cares. Who is protecting the patients?”
The report was published after a visit by the cancer network in March and carried out by a combination of peer review and self assessment.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has addressed criticisms in the report, with CEO Lyn Hill-Tout leading meetings with the wider team and trust management making clear that further hostility would not be tolerated.
The trust response in the report said: "Clinical staff have been informed that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
"The CEO has met with the clinicians and they are fully aware that they are expected to respect and support the lead clinician for the MDT.
"An escalation process is in place if this is not adhered to."