Consistent Quality Of Care Vital Following Publication Of CQC Report

New Research Outlines Concerns Over Healthcare Provider Performance

28.06.2012

Standards of care in health services in England must reach a consistent, high level across the country to ensure that patients do not face a postcode lottery when it comes to vital medical treatment, according to medical lawyers concerned by a new Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.

The CQC’s first Market Report examined more than 14,000 services, including hospitals, care homes and dental practices, up to the end of March and discovered that 27 per cent failed to meet all of the 16 essential standards.

It found issues related to staff shortages, record keeping and management of medicines were the most common to be flagged, as well as that maternity care units were facing difficulties due to birth rates increasing.

The CQC has stated that it will use this quarterly report, and future versions, to review and monitor performance across the board.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Medical Law and Patients’ Rights team act for victims who have been left with long-term health problems as a result of care failings in homes and hospitals across the UK, as well as families who have lost loved ones as a result of errors in surgery and treatment.

David Body, the national head of the team and an expert in clinical negligence cases, said: “This new report is a welcome examination of care services, but it has sadly highlighted that a simply unacceptable number of hospitals and other sites are failing to meet their most basic responsibilities.

“Considering our experience of the consequences of errors and care failings, the figure of 27 per cent is clearly a huge concern and it is vital that this and subsequent reports are used as a benchmark to ensure that services reach the essential standard.

“Inconsistency in terms of care is a huge concern that means patients could see the quality of treatment they receive depend on the area in which they live. This clearly cannot be allowed to happen and we hope that huge strides can now be taken to guarantee a high quality standard of care for all patients.

“The NHS and other health service providers need to react strongly to these findings and show their determination to meet these responsibilities. The safety of patients must always come first and clear improvements in meeting standards will ensure this is the case.”