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CQC refreshes its Priority Bands for Inspection



The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its latest Intelligent Monitoring (IM) reports for acute and specialist trusts in England. 

The analysis underpins CQC’s new approach to regulation, helping it decide where to prioritise its hospital inspections. 

The analysis published today is based on over 150 indicators. These include indicators from the NHS staff survey, the national inpatient survey, emergency readmissions and concerns raised by staff in trusts.

For each trust, CQC has published a ‘Priority Band for Inspection’ alongside individual analysis reports. Trusts are assigned a priority band from one to six, with the exception of trusts that have recently been inspected, as they have already been prioritised. 

CQC has continued to work with hospitals and other partners to improve the way this information is calculated and presented. The key improvements to Intelligent Monitoring in the latest refresh are: 

•    Information has been added from the national maternity survey.
•    Information has been added from the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit. 
•    Updated results from the NHS staff survey published in February have been added.
•    The whistleblowing indicator now only includes ‘current’ cases.
•    Changes to the indicators used from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit.

Now the findings from the initial hospital inspection have been reported, CQC has found a link between data in Intelligent Monitoring and its inspection findings. 

Chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: ‘In the first 18 inspections, the hospitals in band one, the higher risk band, tended to deliver poorer care for patients. 

This shows how our Intelligent Monitoring tool is a good indicator of where problems are likely to be. However, this has not been universal. We must be mindful that indicators are just that, indicators, and are not judgements of quality.

For example, indicators placed Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in a higher potential risk band in 2013, but our inspection assured us that the quality of care the trust provided was good. 

Indicators can suggest potential problems where there are none so we also continue to listen carefully to what the public and staff tell us about the care being delivered. The inspection will always be our judgement on the quality of care provided.’

CQC will inspect all NHS hospitals by December 2015, using larger, expert inspection teams which include professional and clinical staff and trained members of the public who we call ‘experts by experience’.

For more information, please go to www.cqc.org.uk/hospitalmonitoring


Notes to editors

•    CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring Tool for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust placed it into the highest priority band when the data was published in July last year. However, inspectors found last November and December that the services it provided were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.
•    The Priority Bands for Inspection will be updated quarterly.
•    While a hospital may not show as being a priority for inspection, this does not mean there are no quality issues. 

For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out-of-hours on 07917 232 143

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.




About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care. We also encourage care services to improve. We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. We publish what we find to help people choose care.