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Chief Inspector on building 'army' to assess hospitals

The new Chief Inspector of Hospitals has spoken to ITV News about his plans to build a "small army" of inspectors.

Professor Sir Mike Richards said: "I'm looking for both patients and doctors and nurses who really want to help this process of making sure the NHS is as good as it possible can be.

He also said he hoped in his new role, he would able to bring "a belief that rigorous measurement and assessment of hospitals is the first stage in an improvement programme".

Nick Clegg: 'It's about accountability' in the NHS

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the government is trying to introduce a "new culture where you don't hide away mistakes" in the National Health Service.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said "it's about accountability" in the NHS. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Speaking on his LBC 97.3 phone-in show, he said: "It's about accountability and the NHS is a public service, paid for by everybody, for all of us. That's what this is about.

"We are, bit by bit, introducing a new spirit of accountability which I think will raise standards over time."

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'Good potential step forward' in hospital inspections

In response to plans for NHS patients to join hospital inspection teams, the Patients Association tweeted:

Labour backs hospital inspector's plans

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed welcomed the Chief Inspector of Hospital's reforms. Credit: PA

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed said: "The new chief inspector role is welcome and he is right to pilot his plans with a varied group of hospitals.

"Sir Mike Richards will have our support in exposing poor care in the A&Es, wards and elderly care services he visits.

"Four thousand nursing jobs have been lost on this Government's watch and A&E queues have reached their longest in a decade because of David Cameron's NHS betrayal."

Hospital inspector seeks patients and carers to join team

In his first press conference after taking the job as Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards pledged the review teams will be "robust, fair and transparent".

Today I am issuing a call for inspectors. I want assistance in this inspection process.

I want to start building a small army of inspectors.

These inspectors need to come from different walks of life; some of them will be practising clinicians who will come and do two or three inspections a year, some others will be retired clinicians but importantly we are also seeking patients and carers and we will provide training.

We will assess whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

– Professor Sir Mike Richards

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