Published by BBC NEWS - 12th May 2023
  • Published
The Christie Cancer CentreImage source, Google

A world-renowned cancer centre hit by whistleblowing concerns over alleged bullying has been downgraded by the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) told The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester it “requires improvement” in safety and leadership.

Inspectors rated it as “good” overall but criticised its culture, saying staff did not always feel listened to.

The trust said it was working hard to ensure staff felt supported.

The Christie is Europe’s largest cancer centre and was rated as “outstanding” in its previous two inspections.

The latest report followed an NHS England review in February 2022 which found the trust had been “defensive and dismissive” when staff raised concerns about a £20m research project and bullying.

The watchdog said there was “outstanding practice at the trust” and praised its research and innovation to improve outcomes for people with cancer.

However, inspectors found a number of improvements needed to be made.

Its rating for being effective, caring and responsive remained “outstanding” but it has been told to improve in both safety and leadership.

‘Raising concerns’

The report said: “Very senior executives were heavily invested in the promotion and protection of the trust’s reputation.

“This impacted negatively on some staff; staff did not always feel supported and valued.

“A minority of staff expressed reservations about raising concerns and others did not always feel listened to.”

Ann Ford, CQC’s director of operations in the North, said: “Although the trust had made some changes to improve the culture, more work needs to be done to address the issues we identified.”

She thanked staff who came forward to give feedback, adding: “I know speaking up in these circumstances isn’t easy but it’s important it happens.”

Ms Ford praised medical care at the trust, saying “staff treated people with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity and met people’s individual needs”.

They also provided emotional support to people, families and carers, she said.

“However, they didn’t always carry out risk assessments in a timely manner which potentially put people at risk of harm,” she added.

She praised The Christie’s “research and innovation to improve outcomes for people with cancer and the trust and everyone involved should be proud of that important work”.

Roger Spencer, chief executive of trust, said: “We are pleased the CQC has rated us ‘good’ despite the difficulties the NHS has faced over the past few years.

“Demand for cancer services has continued to rise, resulting in us treating more patients than ever before.

“We are working hard to make the improvements that have been highlighted by the CQC, ensuring that all our staff feel supported and valued and I thank all of them for continuing to put patients at the centre of everything we do.”

Presentational grey line

Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.



Tel: +44 (0) 141 946 6482

Address: Healthcare Skills Training International Ltd
West of Scotland Science Park
Block 7, Kelvin Campus
Glasgow G20 0SP


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from Healthcare Skills International . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact