Inspectors Will Have More Responsibility In The New Year
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has outlined its plans for 2014, with inspectors set to be given more power over the way the organisation is run.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, the newly appointed chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, wants to focus on an alternative approach to grading medical facilities for their care.
When possible, investigations will now look more closely at how community health services are integrated into inpatients' care plans as this had previously been something overlooked in many areas of the NHS.
Professor Sir Mike admitted that in the past the CQC has underestimated the importance of community care and this will be rectified by giving inspectors the chance to more effectively assess the way people are moved back to their homes after they have been discharged from wards.
There have been a number of scandals involving NHS hospitals in recent years, with Colchester and Mid Staffordshire trusts put under the spotlight after inspections found patients were not being given the proper standards of care.
But the CQC wants to mitigate these kinds of cases before they reach a crisis point and this will involve a much more proactive approach to inspection, something bosses at the organisation hope to see more of in 2014.
David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, said: "We recognise that there is much for us to do to strengthen how we regulate community health services and to better reflect its important role in many people’s lives as well as in the wider healthcare system
"If we can achieve that, we hope it will improve the lives and experiences of people who use community health services, their carers and families."
The CQC's new inspection regime, which will include a community health rating system, will be rolled out in October 2014, while a consultation will be published earlier in the year, possibly in March, to give members of the public a chance to have their say on the project.
We welcome plans which aim to improve the community care given to patients once they are discharged from hospital as we have seen this neglected in many areas for too long, leaving vulnerable people exposed to further illness.
“We are also pleased to hear that CQC inspectors will be given more responsibility in the hope of preventing reports of substandard care from spiralling into full blown scandals like we have seen with Mid-Staffs and more recently Colchester.
“We hope the new inspections will ensure the overall standard of care given in each hospital is the best it can possibly be. Patient safety must remain as the top priority for all those working within or alongside the NHS and we believe this is at the forefront of the CQC’s plans for 2014.”
Lisa Jordan - Partner