Hospital inspectors facing ‘intolerable’ workload, leaked CQC documents reveal
One inspector raised concerns that inspection teams were working late, and often consuming alcohol
Hospital inspectors warn their workload has become “unsustainable”, as leaked documents reveal serious concerns about pressures faced by staff, inconsistent inspections and even drinking on the job.
In notes leaked from a meeting between staff and management at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), inspectors reveal a wide range of concerns about a new inspection regime at the hospital regulator. One inspector described feeling “used, deflated and exhausted”, another “exhausted and drained” and a third said they felt like “a workhorse”.
In one of the notes, from a meeting of the CQC’s Joint National Consultative Committee and leaked to the Health Service Journal, an inspector raises concerns that inspection teams were working late, and often consuming alcohol.
“While the inspectors may feel this did not impair their judgement it would make good reading in the media,” the note read. “If the [hospital] trust heard that decisions about their compliance were being made whilst staff were consuming alcohol any judgement may be found invalid.”
The CQC underwent a radical overhaul last year after widespread criticism of its response to care scandals at Mid Staffordshire and Morecambe Bay. A new chief inspector of hospitals was appointed and inspection teams were expanded to include more health professionals and patient “experts by experience”. The organisation set itself the task of re-inspecting all of England’s hospitals. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has positioned himself as a patients’ champion during his time in office and has been a vocal advocate of more muscular hospital inspections.
However, the leaks reveal discontent with the role inspectors have played, in a highly-charged political atmosphere, with one inspector saying they felt like “part of a lynch mob not a serious regulator”. Another warned inspection reports were “inconsistent”.
Responding to the leaks, Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said the organisation had “acknowledged we need to learn and respond to feedback to fine-tune the new inspections and ensure the model is sustainable in the long term”.
Life & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
PTSD photo series documents what the disorder is really like – as study reveals suicides of 22 US veterans every day
The distress of some Zayn Malik fans is real, and they need support, say experts
NHS property sale could raise £7.5bn to help pay off its growing deficit and free up space for housing
Clocks change: how to make sure iPhone and smartphones automatically ‘spring forward’
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...