Care Quality Commission Announces First New Style Inspections of Independent Hospitals

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that independent (private) hospitals will begin to be inspected under its new inspection approach.


The Care Quality Commission

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals Sir Mike Richards has identified eight independent hospitals to be inspected. These vary in size and in the number and type of services they provide, including both NHS-funded care and solely private care.

The first new style inspections will allow us to test out our new model in different independent hospital settings. CQC will expect to receive equivalent information about performance to that it receives from NHS hospitals.

CQC's new regulatory approach for the independent healthcare sector signals the first time that these providers will be awarded ratings (from April 2015). There will also be a significant increase in access to information that will help people who use the services to make decisions about their care.

The first inspections will take place from October to December 2014. They will include announced and unannounced elements and may include inspections in the evenings and weekends when we know people can experience poor care.

These first inspections will help us refine the way we inspect this sector and help us develop a rating system. We will begin to issue ratings for private hospitals in 2015.

The core services being inspected will follow the same approach as in the NHS to include: surgery; including cosmetic surgery, urgent care services, medical care, children and young people's care and outpatients.

Our inspection teams include clinicians from the NHS and the independent sector, CQC inspectors and members of the public who are "experts by experience".

The eight providers are:

  • The Lister Hospital, London
  • The London Welbeck Hospital, London
  • Baddow Hospital, Essex
  • Spire Southampton Hospital, Hampshire
  • BMI Mount Alvernia, Surrey
  • Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, Devon
  • Oaklands Hospital, Salford
  • Nuffield Health Tees hospital, County Durham

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said: "We need to hold the independent sector to the same standard as the NHS."

"As we have seen in the NHS, these new-style inspections will allow us to get under the skin of the organisation to give us a much more detailed picture of independent hospital care in England than ever before."

"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."

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 providers will receive full ratings from April 2015. The ratings are: outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.

Where there are failures in care, Sir Mike will highlight what needs to be addressed and will ask the hospitals to make sure a clear programme is put in place to deal with any problems.




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