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News archive - June 2011

Snap inspections of care services for learning disabled

Snap inspections of care services for learning disabled

A PROGRAMME of risk-based and random unannounced inspections of hospitals providing care for people with learning disabilities is one key outcome of the internal reviews hastened by the BBC’s Panorama report of abuse at a private hospital near Bristol.

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “These unannounced inspections into care for people with learning disabilities will help inform future policy and focus attention on the 7/24 care obligation all providers have.” As an additional early warning system, the Government’s proposals for HealthWatch will encourage local organisations to ask the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to investigate services where they have concerns.

Individuals, too, will be signposted to information about services and help if they want to complain. Acknowledging that it should have acted sooner in the Bristol case, the CQC said: “We regard information from whistleblowers as essential intelligence which is vital to the way we assess risk and monitor compliance with essential standards of quality and safety.”

At the end of May, the CQC published a report on the care of elderly patients in the NHS following nurse-led inspections at 12 hospitals. The report found that three hospitals failed to meet basic dignity and nutrition standards and three others raised concerns.

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