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Independent acute healthcare update

22 October 2015
  • Public

On 1 April this year we started our comprehensive inspection programme for independent acute hospitals and have inspected and rated over 40 acute hospital services.

We have continued to develop our methods such as the provider information return (PIR) and plan to continue this development work with stakeholders and partners during October and early November. We plan to carry out a comprehensive inspection, resulting in published ratings, in all independent hospitals by 31 December 2016.

During the test phase for independent hospitals we were unsure if we would have sufficient evidence to support a rating for the key question of effective. Our experience from the wave inspections is that we do in fact, in the majority of cases, have sufficient evidence to enable CQC to rate the effective key question. We plan to continue to work with representatives from the sector and partner organisations such as AIHO and Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) to build on the available evidence base.

We have tested our approach to six single specialty services between April 2015 and September 2015. We have evaluated five of the six specialities and have able to identify the following themes:

  • The PIR and core service frameworks for termination of pregnancy, dialysis services and refractive eye surgery worked well and require only minor amendments.
  • More work is need within CQC and with the sector to understand the complexities of the single speciality of long term conditions. A further pilot site has been identified for quarter 3. We will then evaluate our findings.
  • The single speciality of diagnostic imaging and endoscopy identified that CQC needed to undertake further work to better understand this sector. We will meet with sector representatives over the coming months to start this work.

The evaluation of the single speciality of hyperbaric oxygen therapy services has not yet completed. We intend to start rolling out comprehensive inspections in single specialty services, taking on board the evaluation findings and, subject to regulations, leading to published ratings, from April 2016.

Finally, we recently published our consultation on the approach to inspection and regulation of independent doctor and non-hospital acute services. This consultation has now closed. We will pilot our approach with a small number of services between now and the end of March.

If you’re not already a member, please join CQC’s online community of providers. Starting from this winter, we will be seeking views from providers on how we might develop our approach to inspection once we have carried out ‘baseline’ comprehensive inspections in all providers.


Last updated:
29 May 2017