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Friday 28 October 2016 Instagram
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Nurses demand improvement in CQC inspections

Nurses demand improvement in CQC inspections


Nurses have criticised the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for being “too slow” to respond to complaints and questioned the consistency of its inspections.

A survey of more than 5,000 nurses by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) shows many respondents (35%) do not believe the CQC sufficiently takes into account the importance of staffing levels and skill mix when assessing healthcare providers.

This, they claim, feeds into a “lack of consistency” in the CQC’s inspections.

A spokesperson from the CQC has since challenged this claim and said CQC inspectors do “consider and report on staffing levels” but it is not the their place to determine minimum staffing levels.

“Our focus is on whether, at the time of the inspection, enough appropriately trained and experienced staff on are duty to ensure that care meets essential standards of quality and safety,” said the spokesperson.

“The CQC does not determine minimum staffing levels for health and social care services; we expect providers to make these decisions themselves based on the specific needs of those using their services and taking into consideration guidance and recommendations from professional bodies and associations, including the RCN, around staffing levels and skills mix.”

Nurses also expressed concerns that too few inspections are being undertaken by the CQC.

The report claims around 70% fewer inspections were carried out during the second half of 2010-11 compared with the same period in the previous year.

“That more than 5,000 nurses completed this survey is indicative of the strength of feeling on this issue,” said Dr Peter Carter, the RCN’s Chief Executive and General Secretary.

“Nurses have welcomed the recent changes the CQC has made to improve its efficiency in response to concerns, and it is essential that the CQC is now supported to continue to mature and develop into an effective regulator. 

“However, it is vital that other honestly held concerns are addressed as a matter of urgency.”

The RCN has set out ten recommendations for the CQC to become “more relevant and credible”.

They include: ensuring much more detail on staffing levels are provided by CQC inspectors; a two-week target for responding to ‘whistleblowing’ concerns is set; and creating a better balance between unannounced inspections during the day and night.

Question: What advice would you give to help the CQC improve?


the CQC have been instructed to use more registered nurses to inspect the various health care settings but this does not seem to be the case. Following a recruitment campaign, only NHS employees considered "At risk" were considered for the position of inspectors. There are many senior nurses around who feel very strongly about the falling of standards within the NHS and would be happy to work for the CQC in that capacity, myself included. Nurses, such as myself, know where the weaknesses of the organisations lie (having worked at a Trust recently) but are realistic to take other factors into consideration, such as staffing etc. The CQC focus on many trivial and incidental standards - like are the shelves in stock rooms a certain distance from the floor (Infection Prevention)- instead of focussing on the realities of poor nursing care, where patients are being denied basic care. Needless to say, I applied for a post as inspector but never heard any more. Are the CQC aware that once a Trust has been inspected, a hotline goes out to all the other local Trusts instructing them on which clinical areas are going to be reviewed?? what's the point??

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