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News - 10 July 2012

Failures in NHS standards exposed

A new report by the Quality Care Commission (CQC) which resulted from the inspection of more than 14,000 sites, including hospitals, care homes and dental practices, found the one in four failed to reach the essential standards.

Where problems were identified, managers were instructed to draw up action plans, but in 130 cases inspectors demanded urgent action to take place. Three NHS trusts – Barking, Havering and Redbridge; United Lincolnshire; and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay – were put under investigation as patients were deemed to be in imminent danger.

Four care homes were also closed down by the CQC as they were judged unsafe.

This report by the CQC is the first time that data has been reported and published in such a way following the criticism that they were previously too focused on bureaucracy not on inspections.

In total, 27% of locations inspected failed to meet all the 16 standards covering health and care. The report highlighted:

  • Some 22% of the 581 NHS sites were failing to meet all the requirements. Inspectors said care was being compromised by a lack of qualified staff in many places.
  • More than 850 independent healthcare providers were looked at, with 18% deemed not to be meeting all the standards. Record keeping was a common problem.
  • In social care, 28% of nearly 12,000 care homes and home care services were judged to be not up to scratch. Some of the buildings were in poor condition, while staff across the sector were said to be struggling to cope with the increasingly complex medicine regimes people were on.
  • Dental practices performed much better, with only 12% of sites not meeting all the standards. Cleanliness was highlighted as an issue.

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘It is shocking that more than one in four locations inspected have failed to meet even essential standards of quality and safety.”

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: ‘Many of these areas clearly need to be addressed not just by the trusts locally, but also by the Department of Health and the Government at a national level.’

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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