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Hospital inspections blamed for not being thorough enough

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

After eleven trusts were put under special measures following the unveiling of their unidentified failings, it has been declared that better inspections must be carried out in England’s hospitals. The new chief inspector believes that the way in which hospitals are currently inspected is far too loose, and therefore, flawed.

Prof Sir Mike Richards believes that the current procedures – used by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – are far too narrow in focus and require an increased involvement from medical staff and the public.  He aims to recruit doctors, nurses, patients and carers in order to carry out the inspections and provide ratings.  This move was announced after an independent review was published, led by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, on Tuesday.  

New system will rank each hospital unit individually

After just taking up his post this week, Sir Mike wants to construct a “completely different way of inspecting hospitals”.  Recognising that this overhaul will make for a “huge challenge”, he feels strongly that the old system of carrying out themed inspections on issues such as nutrition and infection control, must be replaced by a system that ranks each unit of a hospital individually, while simultaneously recognising the organisation as a whole. He also aims to increase the size of the CQC inspection teams greatly: they previously involved around five people, but now will involve over 20.  This will better reflect the system and allow greater scope for the reviews.  Sir Mike said that the changes he foresees are based on the methods implemented by the Keogh review.

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