“Radical changes” to CQC hospital inspections

HOSPITAL inspections carried out by the CQC in England are to undergo a radical overhaul with larger teams headed up by clinical experts.

CQC’s new Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards announced the changes following on from a damning review carried out by Bruce Keogh into the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospital trusts in England.

Larger inspection teams headed up by clinical and other experts, including trained members of the public, will spend longer inspecting hospitals and cover every site that delivers acute services and eight key services areas: A&E, maternity, paediatrics, acute medical and surgical pathways, care for the frail elderly, end of life care, and outpatients.

Inspections will be a mix of unannounced and announced and will include evenings and weekends when patients more often experience poor care.

Hospitals will be rated as outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Reports will then highlight what needs to be addressed and the trusts will be asked to implement a clear programme to deal with the problems, along with Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England.

Professor Richards said: "These new-style inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care in hospitals than has ever been possible before in England. Inspections will be supported by an improved method for identifying risks and with much more information direct from patients and their families, and hospital staff.

"Today I am issuing a call to action for clinicians and members of the public to join our inspection teams. We welcome people with a wide range of experience and expertise."

The changes will begin in August.

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