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‘Heavy-handed, expensive’ inspections wrong way to regulate hospitals, says ex-CQC chair

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‘Very heavy-handed, laborious and expensive’ inspections ‘have not been the right way’ of regulating hospitals, according to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) former chair.

Speaking at a Royal Society of Medicine event on Wednesday, Lord David Prior, who is now the chair of NHS England, said “very few” physicians will have improved their work after reading a report from the regulator.

He added that there is a role for the CQC to move in when “things are going wrong” although he is “sceptical” the regulator can actually drive improvement in hospitals.

Lord Prior said: “I am highly sceptical as to whether or not CQC or any regulator can really drive improvement and drive the top hospitals to make them better.

“And certainly I think there’ll be very few physicians who will say that their clinical work has improved as a result of reading a CQC report.

“I think the sadness I have about CQC is that we have not been able, or it has not been able, to develop a series of predictive metrics that could replace these very heavy handed, very laborious and very expensive visits that we used to do.”

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Source: HSJ, 9 September 2021

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