As many as 10,000 people die each year as a result of poor NHS care, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) chair David Prior.
The chair of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), an independent regulator of the NHS, has criticised the quality of treatment of patients in hospitals and by GPs. Mr. Prior claims that this has been so bad that thousands of patients have died as a result. Heavily critical of the “poor care” many patients receive, he also said that this state of affairs undermined the integrity of the NHS as a whole.
Mr. Prior’s comments seem to indicate that he has not been impressed with many aspects of NHS patient care since the Francis report of some 18 months ago. The report was supposed to bring about improvements in patient care and safety, following the poor standard of care and resulting deaths of patients at Mid Staffs.
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Prior’s claims did not go down well with the leader of Britain’s doctors, who even claimed that the majority of NHS patients were getting care that was world-class. The CQC chair did stress that although there were “inadequate” hospitals, there were certainly some “outstanding” hospitals in the UK, too. He also underlined that there is probably more extremes from GP to GP practice, when it comes to primary care, than there is from hospital to hospital.
The lowest ranking given to hospital trusts by CQC inspectors is “inadequate”. After visiting 40 hospital trusts in England by CQC inspectors in March of this year, 5 of the trusts were given the lowest ranking.
Also alarming is the fact that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that the annual number of avoidable deaths is as high as 12,000. He also claims that there is “utterly shocking” instances of incompetence in the NHS happening too often.
The chief nursing officer for NHS England, Jane Cummings, remained upbeat despite Mr. Prior’s concerns, by claiming that never in the history of the NHS has care for patients been so good. British Medical Association chair of council, Dr. Mark Porter, also backed up the views of Ms. Cummings.
A damning annual report is expected by the CQC, relating to the issues raised by David Prior. In the ‘State of Care’ report, Mr. Prior’s views are likely to be given added weight by the report’s own findings.