CQC CEO wants to “ring alarm bells in the boardrooms” of poorly performing organisations

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published performance ratings for 2008/09 all 392 NHS trusts in England. Their assessment, also known as the ‘annual health check,’ shows big improvements for patients. According to the CQC, there is a reduction in MRSA and Clostridium difficile, and more people are:

– seen in A&E within four hours;
– receiving treatment within eighteen weeks of referral; and
– screened for Chlamydia.

Overall, the CQC says that the NHS is performing well on quality and has significantly improved its financial management.

However, the Commission is concerned about the 20 trusts rated weak on quality, particularly those rated weak over a number of years, and trusts rated fair for too long without improving.

Cynthia Bower, CQC Chief Executive, says:

“I want to ring the alarm bell in the boardrooms of these organisations. Next year, all trusts must register with us to legally function. It is clear that many have significant work to do to and a short time in which to do it. They should be in no doubt that we will take firm action if we deem it necessary.”

Of particular interest is the self-reported state of compliance with the Core standards for better health. The standards with highest rate of compliance are:

C08a (100% compliance) – support for staff to raise concerns about services
C10b (100%) – professionals abide by relevant codes of professional practice
C14a (99.8%) – providing information about how to complain
C22a&c (99.8%) – organisations cooperate to improve health of the community
C06 (99.6%) – health and social care organisations cooperate
C07b (99.6%) – promote openness, honesty, probity, and accountability

Core standards with lowest rate of compliance are:

C11b (87.6%) – participation in mandatory training
C09 (88.3%) – systematic and planned approach to records management
C04c (88.3%) – reusable medical devices are properly decontaminated
C04b (89.6%) – minimise risks of medical devices
C07e (90.5%) – challenge discrimination, promote equality and respect human rights
C02 (90.7%) – protect children by following national child protection guidelines

Full information on the 2008/09 annual health check can be found here.

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