CQC Warns NHS Trusts Against Prioritising Price Over Quality
CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards and the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement, Jim Mackey have written to all 255 NHS hospital trusts in England to ask them to consider quality and finances on equal footing in their planning decisions.
Trusts have been under great pressure to provide more, with little or no additional funding and concern is growing that this is leading to an imbalance in the decision-making process. Some Trusts are putting the bottom line above improving quality, and others are choosing to sacrifice the bottom line to ensure quality continues to improve, even where significant addition investment only yields a small increase in quality.
The letter reminds Trusts that financial performance and quality must work together, and be considered as combined and equal priorities. It recognises the role that the CQC and NHS Improvement have in enabling Trusts to deliver the right finance / quality balance.
During the summer of 2015 the Secretary of State requested that the CQC and NHS Improvement work together to produce an assessment process to look at this balance during inspections. Draft proposals will go out for public consultation as part of CQC’s future strategy later this year.