3rd December 2013 

Live Health News  |  Weather  |  Archive

 You can advertise jobs here - for FREE 

Conference Special - Brian Jarman in conversation with Roy on data, HSMRs,  
what's safe and what's not.  Owing to demand we'll move to a bigger room..  
  London 22nd Jan 2014  More details here.

Journalist of the Year           
News and Comment from Roy Lilley

I think the HSJ's Sarah Calkin has written the most important article of the year.  It is about the CQC.  Regular readers will know I don't have any time for the CQC.  Not the people at their coal-face; I know they come to work trying to do the right thing.   


It is the whole concept of inspection that is so outmoded and cack-handed that drives me around the bend.  The political deception that cons the public into believing inspection makes a difference irritates me plus the senior people at the CQC, many with MBAs and MSc's who know perfectly well I am right, yet they persist, aggravates me beyond belief.


When NHS inspection failed to improve anything they decided to do more inspecting.  When that was not producing results we were asked to believe that more intense inspections were called for.  In a final flourish that would have killed off any other inspection regime, the CQC with no hint of irony or humility, blithely announced that after 14 years of inspection, patients were still at risk in a quarter of hospitals.  Wake up; inspection don't work.


Being useless is one thing.  Being useless, knowing it and keep on doing it is a special kind of madness.  Henry Ford, Einstein, Anthony Robbins who ever said it was right; 'keep doing what yer doin' and you'll keep getting the same'.


Dislodging the CQC from the bastions of the NHS establishment will take time but they will go.  Logic, management theory, funding and results are on my side.  However, I think Sarah Calkin might have hastened the day. 


She has discovered; "Patients and the public have not been told about hundreds of serious concerns about health and social care services uncovered by the Care Quality Commission... " It turns out the CQC does not press release a quarter of serious concerns.


Using FoI Calkin revealed that almost a quarter of the 2,729 warning notices issued by the regulator in the past two and a half years have not been made public. 


Looking at their accounts, it seems the CQC spend something north of �60m pa.  I have no idea how much Deep Diver will add to the costs.  I guess we'll find that out eventually.


Working on just �60m: over two and a half years that adds up to �150m to keep them in business; in that time 2,729 warning notices have been issued.  I make the cost of each one to be about �55k each. 


A lawyer specialising in defending providers, interviewed by Calkin, said in some cases failings may have been rectified almost immediately, so publicising a warning notice could create 'unnecessary concern' among the public.  He added; "...publication creates a stigma for the particular service..." 


It also emerged the non-publication policy meant, when requested by HSJ; "...the CQC was unable to provide details of all the NHS locations that had been issued with a warning notice."  Read that again!  Yes, it's true!


At the bottom of the HSJ article you'll find readers' comments including a very interesting one claiming the CQC tipped off a Trust before an unannounced inspection.  I have been told tip-offs are common and I know, from my post-bag, the lengths staff are obliged to go to, to prepare for the CQC.  It takes days, costs thousands and by the looks of it breeds lawyers.


So, let me see if I have this right.  We are paying the equivalent of a year's wages for a couple of nurses to find 'trivial' things that have gone wrong and the CQC can't remember where they were.


Put it all together and we have; unannounced visits that are announced, �55k+ for warnings about stuff, one in four of which is trivial and in places they can't remember.  Lawyers getting in the way of telling local people what is going on in local services and after 14 years of inspecting, a quarter of all Trusts are still too risky for patients.  The coup-de-gr�ce; we are giving the CQC more money to do more of it.


Sarah; nhsManagers.net don't do awards but if we did you would be the journalist of the year!

Join in and comment on the Manager's Network Forum now.


have your say 2 Leave a comment on our Confidential Forum
 Or contact Roy -
Use this e-address

[email protected] 

Know something I don't - email me in confidence.

Leaving the NHS, changing jobs - you don't have to say goodbye to us! You can update your Email Address from the link you'll find right at the bottom of the page, and we'll keep mailing.

MaM Logo
Medicine for Managers
Dr Paul Lambden
Looks like a lot of heart ache to me...
   News and Stuff
News boy
Today on the Web
'Days in the Life of the NHS'
Facey Romford Jnr.
Episode Twenty Three 
The Richmond House Revels
Guest Editorial
Why let the facts get in the way of a good headline? (aka The Breakfast Blockers)
Health Chat
Prof Sir Brian Jarman
 Sir Brian + Roy Lilley
King's Fund
5.30pm 22 January 2014 
Book now! - so popular we've made an executive decision(!) will move to a bigger room to avoid disappointing anyone.  Keep booking.
New Health Chat
Sir Bruce Keogh
National Medical Director in conversation with Roy Lilley
19th February - London - King's Fund
Tickets already going fast.
Book Here
Cache Developer 
IT Company Cardiff.
Advertise your jobs for free
 post them yourself here
 Try a free advert before you pay for one elsewhere.
>>  GP inspections 'flawed' - so admits Inspector Field.  some have been undertaken without a GP inspector(!).  He wants his inspection teams comprised of; a GP, a nurse, practice manager and GP trainee in addition to a trained non-GP inspector and lay person.  Just how many is he going to inspect? 8k+ practices.  I suggest he starts recruiting in China; there might just be enough people.  
>>  PHE and the Health Select Committee - this is a cuppa-builder's and Hobnob moment; toe curling.  The Committee sensed blood!
>>  Wales - the system of holding the NHS to account has broken down; so says Ombudsman.  This is serious.
>>  NHS forced to cancel operations - 170 every day.
>>  Terror suspect - GP blows the whistle.
>>  First Aid App for adults - from the Red Cross. And one for kids.
>>  Off-Sick - consultation on 14/15 Tariff comes to an end.
This is what I'm hearing;
if you know different,
tell me here