Friday, 30 November 2012

How should the CQC work in future? Have your say

Do you want a say in how the CQC should be run in the future? Well, now is your chance. But there is only a week left to send in your views.
The CQC are currently running a consultation that asks for your views on the changes they think they need to make to the way the organisation works. These changes include:
   Regulating services in different ways and making greater use of the information they hold about them.
   Strengthening the way they work with strategic partners.
   Continuing to build better relationships with the public.
   Building relationships with services that provide care.
   Strengthening their unique responsibilities in relation to mental health services.
   Continuing their drive to become a high performing organisation.
You can send your responses to the CQC in a number of ways:
·      Using the online form
·      Email the CQC at:
·      Post your feedback to:
CQC The Next Phase

CQC National Customer Service Centre

Citygate, Gallowgate

Newcastle upon Tyne


Closing date: Thursday 6, December 2012.

If you are a healthcare provider and would like help with your CQC registration and documentation, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd. 

Image: Must be Art, Flickr

Rooting out poor healthcare

This month saw the publication of  ‘Patient Stories’ by the national charity, Patients Association. It includes testimony from relatives of patients who have experienced unacceptably poor care.
The CQC has been working with the charity to make sure concerns about poor care raised with Patients Association are shared quickly and acted on where necessary by the healthcare regulator.
Information from members of the public about the care they receive is valuable information to the CQC, helping them to make informed decisions about when, where and what to inspect.
It you have an experience you would like to share, you can contact the CQC through their website, by telephone or by email to report your experiences of the care you have received. The regulator is hoping to  reach more people with recent experiences of hospitals, care homes and care in the home.Visit for more information.
The Patients Association receives over 8,000 thousand calls from people about their experiences of care every year. Between March and September this year, the charity passed on concerns relevant to the work  the CQC carry out from people who contacted its Helpline. Many concerns they received via the Patients Association led to urgent, unannounced inspections.
The CQC want to continue working with the Patients Association, and others, in this way. The next phase of their work will focus on the experiences of elderly people.

(Image: Fletcher Prince, Flickr)

The new digital services from the CQC have really taken off

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has launched new digital services to enable greater transparency around health and social care provision.

The services include: an email alert option; a CQC widget and information on an area's health and social care facilities.  

Those who subscribe to the email alert service will receive up to date reports on care operators. It is possible to tailor which reports a provider receives based on the type of healthcare service and location.

The widget is designed to allow access to the CQC’s latest reports. Providers regulated by the organisation will be able to embed a summary of their inspection results on their websites with a link to the full report on the CQC website, via the widget.

770 organisations now use the widget after its launch on 8 October 2012, those that use the resource include directory websites such as and

Visitors to the CQC website will also be able to access inspection reports on providers and locations that are no longer registered with the CQC, allowing them to find out more about health and social care provision in an area and its history. More than 8000 location profiles and 2500 inspection reports will become available again.

CQC chair Dame Jo Williams said: “These new digital services are an important step in making it as easy as possible for people to find the information they want. They bring valuable CQC information about the quality of services to a wider audience, helping individuals make informed choices about care.” (CQC Website, November 2012.)

(Image: baddog, flickr)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

CQC finds an Essex hospital's care "completely unacceptable"

Essex's Basildon hospital has been warned its services for children must improve after they were found "completely unacceptable" by the CQC. 
The healthcare regulator visited Basildon Hospital after a girl, 10, died of a suspected drugs error. Inspectors found a number of problems and had many concerns after the visit.
Andrea Gordon, the CQC's deputy director of operations (regions), said "We have taken this action to assist in driving through improvements which have a positive impact on the people being cared for at the hospital."
"It is imperative that the trust now ensures it makes changes which are sustainable, embedded and maintained for the future."
In July, the hospital was told by the CQC to make improvement in its accident and emergency department and on adult wards. When the CQC carried out further inspections, in August and September, improvements were found to have been made.
Inspectors are due to return in the near future, if the required progress has not been made the CQC will take legal action to protect those who use the service.
Since the visit from the CQC the hospital made immediate changes to improve care. Basildon hospital has said that they are committed to improving the standards of care which they deliver to children.
The CQC found: 
Some children waited more than an hour to see a doctor.
- Staff said there were often considerable delays in children       receiving appropriate medical attention when concerns over their condition deteriorating were 'escalated' to doctors.
- Complaints have been made by staff about the lack of senior medical and nursing staff available on the ward.
- Out of date medication was found.
- Inspectors saw reports showing a significant drop in permanent paediatric consultants' availability in the last few weeks but it was not clear what action had been taken with regard to this.
- The trust was found to be failing to plan and deliver care to meet the needs of children in a way that ensured their welfare and safety.

(Source: BBC News, November 2012)
(Image: ricardodiaz11, Flickr)

The CQC is not meeting inspection targets

The Care Quality Commission has just over four months to complete more than half of its annual inspections, it may have to inform the Department of Health it will not meet the target.
Latest figures for 2 November show inspectors have completed 12,292 inspections since April 2012 against a full year target of 31,985. It is believed that the CQC will miss the target by almost 10,000 inspections. However,  £4.5m is to be invested in overtime and bank inspectors in a bid to complete the required number of inspections.  
The CQC currently has 833 inspectors in post, but should have 955. There have been government restrictions on recruitment spending meaning that the healthcare regulator has a £5m underspend on staff costs.
As part of its improvement plan for 2012-13, the CQC agreed with the Department of Health, that it would inspect at least one service at every NHS provider and every adult social care provider a year. This move to annual inspections followed criticism of the CQC by the health select committee that it was carrying out too few inspections.
Chief executive David Behan said activity levels appeared to be improving and he would come back to the board in December with a view on whether the target could be met. He said: “The approach we need to take is to act as a coherent organisation that’s supporting it’s frontline to do what we ask them to do… I’m not going to give a commitment we’ll discharge our programme as set out of the beginning of the year.”
(Source: Health Service Journal, November 2012)
(Image: Medill, Flickr)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

NHS Quality of Care Conference: 15th November

On 15 November, the CQC Deputy Chief Executive, Jill Finney will be speaking at the NHS Quality of Care conference in London. 

The NHS is facing some of its biggest challenges since it began, with financial difficulties to over come and the demand for quality service. Health leaders are tasked with implementing the reforms set out in the Health and Social Care Act and making savings demanded by QIPP, at the same time as ensuring better services, new technologies and improved quality. 

The conference will examine the relationship between efficiency and quality in the National Health Service. It will also consider the role of regulation in ensuring quality of care, and the importance of treating patients with dignity and respect.

The conference will discuss a redesign of services, with efficiency and quality at the forefront of thinking, for a better NHS. 

If you would like more information on the conference, or would like to book your place, visit the Quality of Care website.

If you would like help with any of your healthcare documentation needs, visit us at Words Worth Reading Ltd.

(Image by DIAC Images, Flickr)

Have you used the CQC Widget?

In October, the CQC launched the 'widget', a device that enables you to put information from your CQC profile page onto your own website. 

The widget is a tool the CQC has developed to allow anyone to display the latest compliance status for any of the 40,000 locations registered with the CQC. There is a widget for every registered location. Each widget shows the CQC logo and a summary of whether that service is meeting the essential standards of quality and safety.

Just like someone embedding a YouTube video on their website or on their Facebook wall, you can see the widget on the website in question but the CQC maintains control of what it shows.

The widget was first piloted over the summer and after feedback, it is now being used by many health and social care providers. Have you used it yet? 

You can find out more about the widget, including how to put it on your site and how you can get updates on its development by visiting the page link below.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Any Job Will Do: Graduate employment figures show difficulties for graduate job-seekers

Graduates who are job-seeking are increasingly entering into employment which either does not use or is incompatible with the skills and knowledge acquired in their degree, a report published last week has revealed (Source: The Guardian website, 07/11/2012). Whilst the news may not be what graduate job-seekers would have hoped for, it does offer an insight in to how to get on the job ladder once the lecturers and dissertations have passed from the rear view mirror.

In a survey conducted by Warwick University, 40% of the 17,000 subjects reported that they were in non-graduate jobs, which they could technically have achieved without a degree at all. But does this break the stigma which has long been attached to graduates who take non-graduate jobs? This news comes at the same time as figures from the same survey suggest there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of graduates getting graduate jobs. A ‘good news, bad news’ story if ever there was one. So is the lesson for graduates looking for jobs to take any job they can in order to get on the employment ladder?

There is some advantage to this way of thinking. With clear links between unemployment and mental health issues (Source: British Medical Journal, BMJ 1998; 317:115) and no guarantee as to the continued health of the recent emergence from recession of the UK economy, graduates could do worse than to take a job and from there look to either work upwards in the company, or undertake additional studies to compliment their degree and make them more attractive to employers looking for graduates.
  Whilst some graduates would naturally be unhappy with taking a role either out of their interest area or not requiring their degree knowledge, the advantages of earning money whilst exploring their options do seem to outweigh the benefits of remaining unemployed in an ever-competitive graduate job market.

For more information on job-seeking, visit the Wordsworth Reading resource page for job-seekers at

The BBC Newsnight Crisis: A warning to writers across the board

For writers of all kinds, the recent BBC Newsnight crisis is something that should long stay in the mind. It is a stark warning to journalists and writers alike that research should be thorough, rigorous and double-checked before going to press. The result of failing to properly conduct and test research is plain to see; the BBC have paid a heavy price thus far for their research failings and there are indications that the account is not yet settled. So what should writers learn from the BBC’s hard learned lesson?

Research skills are an absolutely essential pre-requisite for writers, and good research is worth its weight in literary gold.  Whether you write travel guides, novels, news articles or short stories, research is what gives you the knowledge and confidence to put your writing into the public eye and say: “This is my work – read it!”
  If a writer were to refer to “Chelmsford in the county of Suffolk”, editors and publishers would be just a little surprised. To refer to the end of World War 1 in 1917 would be sacrilege and if a poorly researched news piece was to wrongly accuse a member of the House of Lords of child abuse…well, you get the idea.

The trustees of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism recently came out and said (Source: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism website, 10/11/2012) “The Bureau was named as a contributor to the broadcast of a BBC Newsnight programme on November 2 on child abuse in North Wales.  The Trustees are appalled at what appears to be a breach of its standards.” There can be no doubt that those that are found responsible will face severe reprimands. To make matters worse, the Lord involved in the saga is threatening legal action.
  The over-riding lesson that writers have to learn from the BBC Newsnight crisis is similar to the old DIY adage: ‘Measure twice, cut once’. Do your research, make sure it’s accurate, and then go ahead. 

If you would like further information on writing including research, visit Wordsworth Reading’s writers resource page at

Source: BBC News website, 11/10/2012