Following feedback from members of the public, independent healthcare providers and other stakeholders the CQC has published updated guidance for hospitals confirming their approach to inspections and ratings.

Earlier this year the CQC sought views on updating its approach to regulating independent healthcare services in England. This included their plans for how they would introduce quality ratings following inspections in the light of additional powers given them by the Department of Health and Social Care in January 2018. The guidance includes how the CQC will rate independent cosmetic surgery services.

The guidance also confirms that they will:

  • Introduce ‘CQC Insight’– a data monitoring tool currently in use for NHS hospital trusts and primary care providers – for independent healthcare services, starting with mental health and acute services. Strengthen the relationship management with providers and with local and national stakeholders as they adopt a more intelligence-driven model of regulation informed by ongoing monitoring of the quality and safety of care.
  • Move towards unannounced inspections and introduce maximum re-inspection intervals based on location ratings. Assess and rate ‘outpatients’ and ‘diagnostic imaging’ services separately to better reflect the way these services are organised and managed at many independent hospitals.
  • Over time, they will develop a digital routine provider information request to further improve their ability to monitor services.

The changes will be introduced in a phased approach from July 2018. For more information about the consultation and guidance see the CQC website.

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