The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has responded to a report from the Health Service Ombudsman that highlights the cases of 10 people who experienced poor standards of care while in hospital.
| In March we will be launching an inspection programme based around dignity and nutrition for older people in selected wards in about 100 NHS hospitals|
| Cynthia Bower|
Cynthia Bower, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said:
“The cases highlighted by the Ombudsman in this report are truly shocking and the way that these patients is treated simply unacceptable. I am in no doubt that there are hospitals that need to raise their game to make sure that these failings in care are not repeated.
“As the regulator, CQC works very closely with the Health Services Ombudsman who routinely share these complaints with us. This data contributes to the picture that we hold on trusts and will form part of judgement that we make about them and any future review activity that we might take place, which may include inspectors making a site visit.
“In March we will be launching an inspection programme based around dignity and nutrition for older people in selected wards in about 100 NHS hospitals. This programme has been launched in response to a request by the Secretary of State following a report by the Patients Association.
“This targeted unannounced inspections programme will be looking at the quality of care for older people in NHS hospitals. It will focus on observing whether older people are treated with respect and how they are helped to eat and drink when they need it.
“Each inspection team will be led by one of our professional inspectors and include a practising, experienced NHS nurse. These professionals will be joined by an ‘expert by experience’, an older person who has received hospital care and who can give the patient perspective.
“Last year we introduced a new regulation system to the NHS which means they must – to be allowed to provide services – meet new essential quality standards, including in the area of dignity.
“Where NHS trusts fail to meet the mark, we have tough new enforcement powers, ranging from warnings and fines to closure in extreme cases. We will not hesitate to use these powers when necessary to bring improvement.
“We already survey the views of 80,000 patients every year covering every acute hospital in the country. This is among the thousands of pieces of data that we collect and analyse every day to keep tabs on performance. In addition, we also inspect at least one in five trusts to check on core standards.
| We will be asking NHS trusts and primary care trusts how they are ensuring that the needs of patients and their safety and dignity are kept at the heart of care|
| Cynthia Bower|
“The primary responsibility for ensuring patients’ needs are met - in a safe way that respects them as individuals - lies with providers and commissioners of services. We will be asking NHS trusts and primary care trusts how they are ensuring that the needs of patients and their safety and dignity are kept at the heart of care.”