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Stronger Hospital Governance ‘Necessary’ To Improve Patient Safety

New analysis of the quality and safety of care in independent hospitals in England has found that overall, core services are safe, effective, caring and responsive to the needs of patients… but there is variation in quality among the 200 or so hospitals inspected and rated, and there is room for improvement.

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) latest national report found that the majority of hospitals (86 per cent) were rated as good, while seven per cent were rated as outstanding with regards to their responsiveness. However, 30 per cent were rated as requiring improvement.

Safety emerged as being the area where the CQC had the biggest concerns, with 41 per cent rated as requiring improvement and one per cent considered inadequate. It was found that safety procedures weren’t always fully integrated, for example with surgeons not following each step of the World Health Organisation surgical checklist.

Professor Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said: “Much of the care and treatment we have seen at independent acute hospitals is good – and we found that effective leadership at a local level, good staff engagement and a close oversight of the services being provided played a key role in ensuring high quality care.

“However, our inspections also identified concerns around the safety and leadership of some services, often as a result of a lack of safety checks and poor monitoring of risks. Too often, safety was viewed as the responsibility of individual clinicians, rather than a corporate responsibility supported by formal governance processes.”

Further research into the quality of online primary care services also found that although improvements have been made in the last year, further action is still necessary to make sure they’re as safe as general practice in physical premises.

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