Patient and whistleblower experiences will be used to guide specialist teams when deciding which hospitals to inspect, under new Government proposals. The new inspections will be in the style of school Ofsted visits.
Inspection teams have been at two hospitals in the East Midlands today after they were found to have higher than expected death rates. Both Sherwood Forest and United Lincolnshire NHS Trusts are under investigation. Hospitals in Burton were visited last month.
It comes on the day that tougher Ofsted-style inspections were announced for the NHS.
These changes mark a break from the past for the CQC [Care Quality Commission]. We have not been looking at the right things when we have inspected hospitals and we have not had the right level of clinical expertise to get under the skin of organisations. These proposals firmly put patients at the heart of what we do.
It should mean that when someone goes into hospital they have confidence that the hospital is getting the basic aspects of care right - the kind of care we all have a right to expect. These standards were not met at Stafford hospital.
David Behan, Care Quality Commission Chief Executive, announcing a consultation on the proposals, said:
These proposals put CQC firmly on the side of people who use services. This consultation is a critical step towards making root and branch changes to regulation. These proposals put CQC firmly on the side of people who use services.
We are determined to make the right changes to help us make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care.