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Care watchdog outlines details for ‘bigger’ hospital inspections

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Changes to Care Quality Commission (CQC) hospital inspections will see bigger teams with more expertise spending more time talking to patients about the services they are receiving, the organisation says.

The CQC, which examines all hospitals in England to make sure they meet national standards of care, is also to install chief inspectors in its teams to rate performance, as it looks to support patients and other users of medical services.

Another intention for the next three years is to publish clearer information on hospitals and primary care services so its ratings are easier for users to understand.

Other big changes come in what it inspects, with its teams looking to examine more of the most important factors to the public, such as levels of safety, efficiency, care, leadership and response to the needs of patients.

Taking on board people’s views and experiences and listening to the concerns of staff will allow the CQC to spot and deal with failing services better, it says. It will then adopt a new programme to support trusts deemed to be failing and promote swift change to protect patients.

Closer scrutiny will be made into organisations starting new care services on the ability of their leaders and staff to meet CQC standards.

It is all part of the organisation’s goal to make sure all patients receive high quality care in England, according to its chief executive David Behan.

He said CQC inspections cannot ensure that quality on their own, but it would be helping care providers to do their bit by “setting the bar” and providing ratings that encourage them to make improvements.

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