Greater public involvement in NHS inspections

A BIG rise in the number of patients and carers taking part in NHS inspections in England will take place from November, the Care Quality Commission has announced.

Around 475 members of the public already participate every month in CQC inspections of GP practices, hospitals, care homes and other services. But that number is set to rise “significantly” as part of a multi-million expansion of the Experts by Experience (ExE) programme.

ExEs are described as people with direct experience of care services regulated by the CQC, or those caring for a service user. They work with CQC inspection teams, talking to patients/service users to help assess and rate the quality of care provided.

The regulator said ExEs help them make “better inspection judgements and ratings and to produce better inspection reports.” They are also involved in decisions regarding strategy and policies, and play a part in the recruitment and training of inspectors.

A number of contracts – worth an estimated £7 million a year – have been put out to tender to find organisations to set up and operate ExE programmes in a number of regions across England.

The CQC’s director of engagement, Chris Day, said: “We are committed to involving more members of the public in our inspections, it is one of the most important things that we do.”

The CQC is hoping for input from a broad range of people, including those in the early stages of dementia and their carers; mental health service users; people with learning disabilities; and people who have recently used maternity services.

Find out more on the CQC website

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