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Announced inspections

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We announce comprehensive inspections of certain kinds of service in advance.

Find out which types of inspection we announce in advance below.

NHS acute and specialist trusts

Our programme of comprehensive inspections of NHS acute and specialist trusts has now ended. Now this is first phase is complete, we will move towards targeted inspections focused on individual services offered by providers, as well as their leadership.

These inspections will usually be unannounced. In a few instances, where there are very good reasons, we may let a service know we are coming. For example, we may contact a trust to make sure senior management are present to answer our questions.

NHS mental health trusts

Our programme of comprehensive inspections of NHS trusts has now ended. Now this is first phase is complete, we will move towards targeted inspections focused on individual services offered by providers, as well as their leadership.

These inspections will usually be unannounced. In a few instances, where there are very good reasons, we may let a service know we are coming. For example, we may contact a trust to make sure senior management are present to answer our questions.

NHS community health trusts

Our programme of comprehensive inspections of NHS trusts has now ended. Now this is first phase is complete, we will move towards targeted inspections focused on individual services offered by providers, as well as their leadership.

These inspections will usually be unannounced. In a few instances, where there are very good reasons, we may let a service know we are coming. For example, we may contact a trust to make sure senior management are present to answer our questions.

NHS ambulance service trusts

Our programme of comprehensive inspections of NHS trusts has now ended. Now this is first phase is complete, we will move towards targeted inspections focused on individual services offered by providers, as well as their leadership.

These inspections will usually be unannounced. In a few instances, where there are very good reasons, we may let a service know we are coming. For example, we may contact a trust to make sure senior management are present to answer our questions.

Specialist substance misuse services

We announce inspections for independent standalone substance misuse services.

While we don't currently give ratings to standalone substance misuse services, we plan to rate them in the future. We will continue to test the feasibility and scope of inspecting and separately rating substance misuse services offered by other providers, for example NHS trusts, GP practices and independent providers that also offer other services, with a view to rolling this out once the current inspection cycle for these providers ends. However, we will still carry out an inspection of substance misuse services delivered by these providers if risks are identified.

NHS GP practices and GP out-of-hours services

Inspections are usually announced. We feel that this is the most appropriate way to make sure our inspections do not disrupt the care provided to people.

We will announce which clinical commissioning groups (CCG) area we are visiting at least four weeks before we start to inspect practices in that area.

Adult social care services

Residential adult social care services

Our inspections will usually be unannounced. In a few instances, where there are very good reasons, we may let the provider know we are coming. For example, we may contact small homes to check that people are home before setting off to inspect.

Community adult social care services

Our inspections of domiciliary care agencies and Shared Lives schemes will usually be announced 48 hours in advance. This is so we can be sure the manager or a senior person in charge is available on the day we plan to visit.

We may also give 48 hours’ notice to supported living schemes and extra care housing, but this will vary depending on the way the service is organised – in particular, in relation to the location of the registered manager and people using the service.

Hospice services

Our inspections for inpatient hospices will usually be unannounced. In a few instances, where there are very good reasons, we may let the provider know we are coming. We usually announce inspections of community-based hospice services and day hospices 48 hours in advance. This is so that we can be sure the manager or a senior person in charge is available on the day we plan to visit.

Note: This information should be used as a guide only. Details are subject to change.

Last updated:
31 July 2017

 


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