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Update on CQC’s inspection programme

23 October 2015
  • Public

At its public board meeting on Thursday 22 October 2015, CQC’s chief executive, David Behan confirmed that CQC still expects to inspect every acute NHS trust in England by the end of March 2016, as well as every acute specialist, mental health, community healthcare and ambulance trust by the end of June 2016, using its robust, expert-led, and person-focused regime.

However, plans to inspect every adult social care, general practice and out of hours primary care service in England by the end of September 2016 with its new inspection regime are behind schedule and further planning is needed to confirm whether all independent health services can be inspected by the end of December 2016.

David Behan explained that although productivity is increasing, the time it has taken to recruit the required numbers of inspectors and to ensure they are fully trained means that there is a possibility that some targets may not be achieved.

Although there are still ten months left to recover the shortfall, CQC has raised this possible risk to its ability to deliver on its commitments early on, in the interests of openness and transparency and to reassure the public that it will never compromise on the quality of its recruitment, its inspections or its judgements.

David Behan said: “The inspections we’ve carried out so far are delivering a deeper insight into the quality and safety of services than ever before.

“Already we are seeing services improve the quality and safety of their care, which is reflected in their performance ratings and in many coming out of special measures [as we announced that Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust did this week]. This is positive news for people who receive these services and for providers.

“Our productivity is increasing as we recruit more inspectors and we are highlighting this possible risk to delivery now and planning in an open and transparent way as to how we can address this.

“It’s important that our inspectors are trained, supported, and have the appropriate time to carry out high-quality inspections, including those that are planned, those that are in response to concerns and those when we go back to check that improvements have been made. These then lead to robust judgements that the public can have confidence in and that providers can act on and learn from. We will never compromise on the quality of the work we have to do.

“We will continue to monitor this position and report publicly on developments.”

Last updated:
29 May 2017