CQC Inspection


The Care Quality Commission monitors, inspects and regulates hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries, dental practices and other care services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publishes what it finds, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

As a Trust, we are expecting to have three separate inspections imminently – probably by the end of this year. The three inspections are:

Whilst all three of these inspections are important, it is the unannounced inspection that most staff will notice taking place. This will be similar to previous inspections that have taken place.

We are also expecting two other reviews this year. These are:

Well led review
This is a new review as part of the CQC’s new inspection regime. Trusts will now receive an annual well led review which will check whether the leadership, management and governance of the organisation can assure the delivery of high quality care for patients, support learning and innovation and promote an open and fair culture.

Use of resources review
This review, led by NHS Improvement, aims to help patients, providers and regulators understand how effectively Trusts are using their resources to provide high quality, efficient and sustainable care. The review assesses how financially sustainable Trusts are, how well they are meeting financial controls, and how efficiently they use their finances, workforce, estates and facilities, data and procurement to deliver high quality care for patients. The framework mirrors the structure of the joint Well-Led framework and CQC’s inspection approach.

Whilst staff will have the opportunity to contribute to these reviews, it will be mostly be based on information collected and conversations with our leadership teams.

How can staff find out more?

Further information about the inspection can be found on the CQC Inspection page of the intranet, or by speaking to your line manager, senior nurse or Clinical Director.

It might also be useful for you to take the time to reflect on the improvements you’ve made in your area, and the changes that have taken place across the Trust. You have made so many improvements over the last year or so that you may think it’s old news, but please remember that it’s not old news to the inspectors - it may be the first time they hear it.

Further information about some of the various improvements can be found in the special ‘Our Improvements’ booklet we have produced which will be available soon. If we have missed something out of the booklet, please let us know so that we can share your good work.

We appreciate that there are lots of staff that won’t be able to get to one of the staff briefing sessions, so a video briefing is being produced and will be shared with all staff so that they can find out more about the inspections when they have time.

Frequently asked questions

Why are we being inspected?

The CQC last inspected our hospitals in 2016. Following the inspection, our Trust received an improved rating of ‘Good’ and we were deemed ‘Outstanding’ for the “Caring” domain.

We update the CQC monthly on how we are doing against our improvement plan but these inspections are a chance for the CQC to see the improvements in action, and check that we are making the progress they’d expect.

When will the inspectors be on site?

This is an unannounced inspection so we won’t receive any notification as to when they will arrive. They can arrive any time – day, night and at weekends. We do expect that the inspection team will visit all our main hospitals as part of the inspection.

What will the CQC be looking at?

There are five areas or ‘domains’ that the CQC look at during inspections. They look at whether services are:

• Safe
• Effective
• Caring
• Responsive
• Well-led

What will the inspectors look at?

The CQC regulates healthcare providers like us on the quality and safety of the services they provide.

They may also inspect a service where issues have been brought to their attention through their information gathering or via feedback from stakeholders, the public or other parties.

How does the inspection work?

Before, during, and after the inspection, the inspection team will collect evidence and feedback on our Trust and our services in a number of ways:

• Gathering the views of people who use services by speaking to people individually and in groups
• Holding listening ‘stalls’ for members of the public at FGH and the RLI
• Using information gathered from complaints and concerns from people who use services
• Gathering information from staff
• Observing care
• Looking at individual care pathways
• Reviewing records
• Inspecting the places where people are cared for
• Looking at documents and policies

How will we know who is a CQC inspector?

All inspectors will be wearing ID cards and lanyards so you will be able to identify them. We would expect inspectors to introduce themselves when they come into your work area but if this doesn’t happen, or you are unsure, please do politely challenge them in the same way you would with any other person.

The inspectors will also carry a formal and official letter from the CQC that states what they are there for and why they are allowed entry to our wards and departments. You are more than entitled to ask to see this letter.

How can you get involved?

We want all our staff to take the opportunity to talk to the inspectors and give your honest and open opinions on what it is like to work at the Trust, and how you feel about the service you and your colleagues offer to our patients and their families.

There are a number of ways you can get involved and have your say, including:

• Taking the opportunity to speak directly to an inspector
• Contacting the CQC directly – details can be found on their website
• Contacting your line manager, senior nurse or Clinical Director

What should you say to patients if they ask you what is happening?

As part of the inspection, inspectors may visit any area of the Trust and speak to staff, patients and visitors. We realise that this may prompt concerns from patients about exactly what is happening.

If patients or visitors ask you any questions about the inspection, we would encourage you to explain what is happening and why, and reassure them that it is a normal part of assessing quality of NHS services. Should a patient or visitor wish to speak to an inspector, please help them to do so and encourage them to be honest and open.

If you are asked a specific question that you do not know the answer to, simply explain that you will get back to them about it, and raise it with your line manager.

Updated September 2018

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