CQC announces second round of health provider inspections
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has revealed the second group of health providers to undergo inspection.
As part of the body's new approach to inspecting specialist mental health services, mental and community health organisations will be assessed to ensure all are adhering to CQC compliance rules.
Providers included in the inspections will cover all sizes, specialisms and regions.
In the community section, Cambridgeshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, Kent Community Health NHS Trust, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust will be assessed.
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation trust will also be inspected.
Meanwhile, the combined health providers of Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust, Bradford District Care Trust and the Humber NHS Foundation Trust will receive visits from the CQC.
Inspections will begin from April, following the end of inspections for the first eight mental health and community health NHS Trusts.
The Department of Health claims that by December 2015 every NHS Trust in England will have been assessed.
During CQC visits, assessors will determine if the provider is safe, caring, effective, well-led and responsive to people's needs. An overall judgement will then be made about the quality and safety of care, resulting in a rating of either outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate.
This is part of wider attempts to improve standards of care in the UK. Indeed, the CQC is already encouraging patients to report on their experiences of out of hours services provided by GPs and is expecting NHS Trusts across the country.
By June 2014 it is expected that all out of hours GP practices in the NHS will have been inspected by the CQC.
This comes after changes to regulations and inspections of GP practices and out of hours services. These included plans to make sure patient views are drawn upon systemically.
Professor Field, author of 'A Fresh Start for the Regulation and Inspection of GP Practices and GP Out of Hours Services, stated: "What is clear is that as people’s needs change, general practice must change to meet them.
"As we develop changes to the way CQC inspects and regulates primary care, we will make sure that we focus on how GP practices work in a coordinated way with other services, and encourage them to adapt to the changing needs of their local population."
The first four GP practices inspected by the CQC were Bedford on Call Limited, NEMS Community Benefit Service Limited in Nottingham, South Doc Services Limited in Selly Oak and South Essex Emergency Doctors Service.
Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said there hasn't been enough specific attention on community health services in the past. He declared that he was committed to strengthening CQC oversight in this area, enabling the body to "develop a picture of the quality of care that is so important in many people's lives".