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Evaluation helps hospital inspection development

30 July 2014
  • Public

A report we have published today evaluates the first two waves of our new style hospital inspections.

The report covers inspections carried out in 18 hospital trusts between September 2013 and April 2014.

The evaluation, by researchers from Manchester Business School and The King's Fund was commissioned by us as part of our 'learning by doing' approach.

The authors found that the new approach commands strong credibility, in particular through the use of specialists to inform assessments, and the granular detail of ratings within services rather than at provider level, with the report stating:

"Overall CQC's new acute regulatory model receives more or less universal endorsement from stakeholders, not least from the hospitals themselves, and is seen as transformative in comparison with the form of regulation it replaces. It is regarded as much more credible, authoritative, rigorous and in-depth and much less likely to miss any issues of significant concern."

The new inspection method was evolving even as the evaluation was carried out, and will continue to evolve. The report will inform that evolution.

Many changes have been made to the inspection process during and since the evaluation, but areas where the report suggests we should further consider include:

  • preparatory work leading up to the inspection visit.
  • training and deployment of inspection teams.
  • the level of detail in the assessment framework of lines of enquiry and rating descriptors.
  • how we ensure consistency of ratings and report our findings in the quality summit process which takes place after the inspection.

We have work at different stages of progress in all of these areas, for example we are allowing more time in the build up to inspections, revised the data packs used by inspectors, made reports clearer and are carrying out a review of post-inspection arrangements for quality assurance of reports and quality summits.

Last updated:
29 May 2017