While the NHS is faced with the challenges increasing pressure to deliver more with less resources and limited budgets, the level of variation in the quality of care is of “great concern according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors.
The national ‘State of Care’ report released by the CQC earlier this month whilst their inspections are ongoing, has highlighted areas of concern within health care organisations.
So far over 5,000 inspections have taken place which consisted of 47% of hospitals, 17% of care services and 11% of GP surgeries and the inspections are expected to continue until 2016.
During the inspections, CQC inspectors look at a range of different categories which include safety, quality of management and the nature of staff. Each organisation receives a rating for each category and is awarded an overall rating of “inadequate, requires improvement, good or outstanding”.
The CQC advised that out of all of the issues, the majority of the concerns have been raised about safety. Statistics reveal that 13% of hospitals, 10% of adult social care services and 6% of GP practices were “inadequate” for safety. In addition, there are a substantial number of services that are not doing enough to ensure they have adopted a good safety culture, and have therefore been rated as “requires improvement” for safety.
The CQC are now concerned about the leadership and culture in many hospitals and is of the view that consistent good quality care can be achieved by staff engagement and excellent leadership. However, the ongoing issue that many hospitals are facing is staffing levels and getting the right mix of skills. Staffing issues have been highlighted as a reason for the poor ratings.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) claims that the cuts made to senior nursing positions has had a negative impact on training and leadership skills. RCN general secretary Janet Davies is of the opinion that financial problems are the primary cause factor.
The findings in the report show a distinct link between quality of leadership and quality of services. All inadequate services had inadequate leadership and 94% of services that were rated good or outstanding had good or outstanding for leadership.
From inspections of GP surgeries, the CQC have reported examples of poor incident reporting and a lack of learning from significant events, as well as evidence of poor management of medication.
The CQC have highlighted the need for GP practices to review access to medical advice and treatment to ensure they are in line with the needs of the patients.
It is recognised that there is a clear need for improvement to procedures and standards within health care organisations. The team at Moosa-Duke Solicitors have clients all over the country and are concerned to read about the inconsistency of the care that is being provided by health care organisations across the country.
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a failure / poor care by a medical professional, call us for a no obligation discussion on 0116 254 7456.