Health agency to reform inspection procedures

Inspection of services for children, older people and the
mentally ill will be done jointly and take into account wider
measures of satisfaction and progress, the Healthcare Commission
has announced, writes Paul

The new measures of inspection, which will replace the current
star ratings system for healthcare organisations, are being
consulted on before being implemented next year.

Inspections will then be on a broader range of seven core
standards including the care environment and patient focus.

The Commission says it recognises that mental health and
learning disability organisations, and primary care trusts with
their responsibility for commissioning, need to have standards and
targets interpreted in ways that matter to patients.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Dr Andrew McCullough
said the new system was likely to address criticisms of the way
services for the mentally ill have been assessed.

He said: ‘They are acknowledging precisely the sorts of
criticisms which have been made – not being sensitive to
quality and not being sensitive to the patient’s view.

It feels like it is moving to a system that is locally

Improvement reviews of adult community mental health services
are currently being piloted with the Commission for Social Care
Inspection, and of older people’s services with CSCI and the
Audit Commission.

A Healthcare Commission spokesperson said the Commission and
CSCI had very similar views of the way forward for inspection. She
said: “We share quite a similar vision and are moving towards a
more risk based and proportionate method of assessment.”

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