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Weekend Diagnosis: Confidently looking forward to our first quality inspection

Published: 3 February 2016

Mairead McAlindenThis Weekend Diagnosis is from Mairead McAlinden, our Chief Executive

Over the next two weeks, Torbay Hospital will be host to more than 100 Care Quality Commission inspectors as the trust’s services are scrutinised and evaluated.

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England.

It makes sure services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care by ensuring national standards are being met through an inspection process.

Although the CQC has conducted onsite inspections and service specific reviews on previous occasions, this will be the first time the whole organisation will be examined under the new inspection framework and the first inspection since the two NHS trusts came together in October 2015 to form the integrated care organisation.

The new process enables the CQC to gain a broader understanding of the quality of care provided and also evaluates new areas such as governance and leadership.

The thorough and intensive inspection will take the form of announced and unannounced visits to various areas of the trust.

As well as collating and analysing data, they will talk to staff, patients, and carers.

The CQC will be looking for evidence and feedback that our services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

These will be rated as outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

They won’t expect us to be perfect, but they will expect us to be able to demonstrate our good practice and to have plans in place in areas where it has been identified that improvements are required.

I am confident the CQC inspectors will see first-hand the safe, caring and compassionate care our 6,000-strong team provide.

Serving a community of around 375,000 people with their health and care needs, 365 days of the year, is no small feat so our staff, in acute or community hospitals and out in the community, certainly should have a lot to be proud of.

There has been some fantastic work done over the past 10 years to provide safe, high-quality health and care services which are joined-up and centred around people’s individual needs.

However, we know there is more to be done. Bringing together the two NHS trusts, and working in collaboration with other local partners, will help realise our vision to create a community where we are all supported and empowered to live as well and as independent as possible with choice about how and where our needs are met.

The results of all inspections are available for the public to see on the CQC website and we anticipate receiving our feedback around March. I look forward to sharing the findings and recommendations with you.