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CQC inspects first private hospitals under new regime

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The first two independent sector hospitals to be inspected under the Care Quality Commission’s new scrutiny model are to receive visits today.

During a two day inspection, a team will visit Spire Southampton Hospital in Hampshire to look at a number of core services including surgery, medical care, critical care, children and young people’s care and outpatients and diagnostics.

“The first inspections at Spire Southampton and London Welbeck hospitals are the starting point for CQC to hold the independent sector to the same standards as the NHS”

Mike Richards

Inspectors will also spend one day at the London Welbeck Hospital looking at surgical and outpatient services.

The inspection teams will include clinicians from both the NHS and independent sector, the CQC itself and members of the public.

The first inspections under the new approach will “allow us to test out our new model in different independent hospital settings”, said the CQC.

The regulator added that would expect to receive equivalent information about performance to that it received from NHS hospitals.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said today’s inspections were “the starting point for CQC to hold the independent sector to the same standards as the NHS”.

Sir Mike Richards

Mike Richards

“We are significantly increasing public access to information on independent healthcare, which is good news for people who use services, as it will help people to make informed decisions about their care,” he said.

Under the regulator’s new scrutiny model, each inspection seeks to answer five questions about services – are they safe, caring, effective, well-led and responsive to people’s needs?

All independent healthcare hospital providers will receive full ratings – either outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate – from April 2015.

A further six independent hospitals are to be inspected by the end of December:

  • Baddow Hospital, Essex
  • BMI Mount Alvernia, Surrey
  • The Lister Hospital, London
  • Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, County Durham
  • Oaklands Hospital, Salford
  • Shepton Mallett NHS Treatment Centre, Somerset
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