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New round of spot-checks on learning disabilities

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Nursing staff will have just 24 hours notice of inspections of inpatient learning disability services in the Healthcare Commission’s continued efforts to improve care standards.

Visits to the 48 specialist inpatient learning disability services began this week and will include revisits to ten of the services inspected as part of the 2007 national audit.

Last year, the Commission was hugely critical of services, calling for ‘sweeping and sustained’ changes in learning disability services to modernise them.

In 2007, inspectors visited 154 services covering 68 of the 89 organisations. This year’s visits will mean the HCC will have inspected services at all 89.

Inspectors will be looking for evidence of quality and safety and reports on each site will be published on the Commission's website early next year.

Anna Walker, chief executive at the Healthcare Commission, said: ‘If we don't keep the pressure up, we risk being in the same place in the future talking about the same problems. Indeed, I expect to see that services have already improved when we begin the follow-up visits.’

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