CQC to reduce number of inspections to ease staff pressure

In an interview with the Health Service Journal (£), Care Quality Commission (CQC) Chief Executive David Behan has revealed that the Commission would scale back its inspection targets for 2014-2015, due to pressures on the workforce and slow recruitment of high calibre staff. Recruitment has been slower than expected because of the high standards set by the CQC and has also resulted in some inspection teams operating with half the required staff. The CQC had been criticised after it emerged in 2012 that its hiring process had certain flaws that led to the recruitment of 100 inspectors that had not met the proper standards. Behan added that, although the number of inspections would decrease in the second half of the year, their intensity will be strengthened, leading to a higher number of total inspection days.

Also speaking to the HSJ, CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals Sir Mike Richards said that the organisation would increase the inspection notice time it gives to hospitals to 20 weeks from the current 6-8 weeks, as this would give inspectors more time to do background research on hospitals and recruit the appropriate members of their inspection teams. The CQC is also moving ahead from holding provider-specific public “listening events” to collect information on a provider by the public, to a model of a rolling programme of events to collect views about all health and social care services in an area.