The Christie Hospital in Withington 'in breach of NHS licence'

Christie Hospital in Withington Image copyright Google
Image caption The Christie declined to comment on concerns raised by Monitor over its governance

A specialist cancer hospital in Greater Manchester is in breach of its licence to provide NHS services, the health regulator Monitor has said.

Monitor began an investigation into the running of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust on 8 March.

Stephen Hay, of Monitor, said it had found concerns over The Christie's governance.

But Mr Hay said there were no concerns about the care it provided. The Christie has declined to comment.

'No concerns'

Mr Hay, managing director of provider regulation at Monitor, said: "The Christie is going through some serious difficulties and our investigation has found concerns with the way the board was operating."

He added: "Whilst we've no concerns about the care it provides, it is important to patients, taxpayers and staff that the trust be well-run."

The investigation into the trust followed the resignation in February of its chairman, Lord Bradley. Its chief executive, Caroline Shaw, has been under suspension since November as part of an internal disciplinary investigation, although Monitor said its inquiries did not involve any allegations relating to Ms Shaw.

Monitor has appointed Sir Hugh Taylor, chair of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, as interim chairman of The Christie.

'Failing principles'

It said that under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, it could require foundation trusts to make senior appointments if it considered them to be in the best interests of patients.

Earlier, Monitor said it was examining whether the trust had breached its licence to provide healthcare services by failing "the principles of good governance".

Image copyright Christie Hospital
Image caption Sir Hugh Taylor has been brought in as interim chairman of the trust

It said there were concerns that the board of the trust had "not adhered to the required corporate governance standards".

Although The Christie said it would not comment on Monitor's findings, it said it welcomed its new chairman.

In a statement the hospital said: "We are hopeful that Sir Hugh's appointment, along with his experience and expertise, will bring the ongoing situation to a swift and satisfactory resolution."

It added: "The trust and charity's activities continue to be delivered to the very highest standards, and patients, families and carers can be reassured that this situation in no way affects or compromises patient care."

Manchester Withington MP John Leech has previously described the situation as a "mess".

"My primary concern through all of this is to make sure patients come first," he said.

Kathryn Wood, 69, from Baguley, Wythenshawe, who was treated for cancer at The Christie, said the hospital was "wonderful".

"Without a shadow it saved my life," she said. "I can't praise the hospital or the staff enough."

The Christie, based in Withington, treats more than 40,000 patients a year.

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