UK Reacts To CQC 'Risk' Report

Politicians And Activists Around The UK Have Reacted To A CQC Report Showing Hospitals' Risk Factor

25.10.2013

Politicians and activists across the UK have reacted to a report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on hospital safety.

A new study from the watchdog found 44 trusts out of 161 had a 'high' risk factor, with some demonstrating substantially higher death rates than would be expected, according to the Evening Standard.

The hospitals in question will now have more rigorous checks put in place and extra Department of Health advice will be made to avoid them falling into special
measures or administration, as happened with the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, which has been rocked by neglect scandals in recent years.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's World At One programme, secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt said the public should not be worried and could even see it as a positive sign that the CQC has the necessary inspectorate to be able to recommend these changes.

"We have introduced a very rigorous inspection regime which means that each one of these hospitals will be inspected very soon and we will really get to the bottom if there is a problem, and if there is we will put them into special measures and sort it out," the Conservative minister added.

Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association, also praised the increased transparency associated with the latest CQC releases, but blasted budget cuts at some trusts that he says are causing a number of problems for front-line doctors and nurses.

"The NHS is having to make £20 billion of savings, leading to increasing pressure on staff and resources ... affecting patient care and outcomes," Dr Porter added.

Labour also criticised the government and James Reed, shadow health minister, blamed David Cameron for "putting hospitals in this position".

Mr Reed also commented that medical institutions across the country have been plunged into "three years of chaos" because of the austerity programme put in place by the coalition government.

Expert Opinion
The findings of the review published by the CQC are of course very worrying, but it is unsurprising to see many commentators focus on the flipside – which is ultimately that it is positive such in-depth data is available and being shared with the general public.

"From recent issues affecting the NHS, one of the key topics to emerge has been transparency. Information of this kind and the sharing of it means everyone is able to see precisely what the current state of play is in health services and indicates where improvements must be made.

"Ensuring the public are able to make informed decisions about healthcare and that patient safety comes first is a fundamental priority for the NHS. It is vital that this information is used to make significant strides in the quality of patient care."
Lisa Jordan, Partner