Managers becoming accountable. Doctors who have had their careers shattered by NHS managers seemingly inappropriately have felt that managers do not seem to be accountable to anyone. The situation is beginning to change ......

Hit squads of patients to inspect hospitals in radical shake-up of monitoring. - 18th July 2013


Professor Sir Mike Richards, the new chief inspector of hospitals, wants a “small army” of people with past experience of the NHS in a radical shake-up of the way trusts are monitored.

The aim is to identify failing hospitals much more quickly in a bid to prevent another scandal like at Stafford Hospital where hundreds died due to neglect and abuse.

Hit squads made up of patients, carers, doctors and nurses will formally assess every hospital in England.

Health sources said the patients, who will be screened before taking part and will not assess their own hospitals, could include cancer and stroke survivors.

The 161 acute hospital trusts will be rated as “outstanding”, “good”, “requires improvement” or “inadequate”.

If they are deemed “inadequate” they faced being put into “special measures”.

Sir Mike admitted the way in which the Care Quality Commission previously inspected hospitals was “flawed”.

The health watchdog, which is responsible for inspecting hospitals, had failed to spot any real cause for concern at the 11 NHS trusts put under “special measures”.

Sir Mike said: “If we thought that the CQC process in the past had been perfect we wouldn’t be changing it.

“We are changing it because we recognise that it was flawed.”

He will today call for patients, carers and clinicians to come forward to help the health watchdog with the inspection process.

The patients will be screened and interviewed before taking part in inspections and will not be able to assess hospitals they have used.

Sir Mike said: “We will have relatively large multi-professional teams of experts - those will include doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, managers, but importantly they will also include patients and carers who we consider to be experts by experience.

“Today I am issuing a call for inspectors. I want assistance in this inspection process.

“I want to start building a small army of inspectors. These inspectors need to come from different walks of life, some of them will be practising clinicians who will come and do two or three inspections a year, some others will be retired clinicians but importantly we are also seeking patients and carers and we will provide training.”

“We will assess whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.”

He vowed to bring in bigger inspection teams and spend longer checking the hospitals with a mix of announced and unannounced inspections.

He promised that the new inspection hit squads would inspect every hospital in England by 2015.

The development comes amid the growing fallout from a major review into 14 failing NHS trusts by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.

Jeremy Hunt said the report by Sir Bruce represented Labour’s “darkest moment”, and singled out former health secretary Andy Burnham for criticism.

But Mr Burnham insisted the failings occurred under “this Government’s watch”.

It emerged that thousands more patients died than would have been expected at the hospital trusts investigated.

The Keogh review found that none of the hospitals investigated was providing “consistently high-quality care to patients” and all the trusts have been ordered to act on recommendations set out by health officials.

Original article - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-hit-squads-patients-inspect-2060776