The Care Quality Commission has made no secret of its shortage of inspectors and funds. NHS leaders facing equally pressing financial concerns may see a respite from the regulator’s prying eyes as a blessing, but those in the East Midlands have had little chance to rejoice.
The CQC has expressed “major concerns” over medicines management at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and required Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust to provide an action plan regarding dignity and nutrition standards – despite giving the FT an overall thumbs-up.
University Hospitals of Leicester Trust is now courting the regulator’s attentions through an increase in its elective mortality rate. In July and August, 26 patients died following elective procedures, although a review suggests nine of these should have been coded as emergency admissions.
In Derbyshire, the CQC has raised “serious concerns” following inspections of two care homes for people with learning disabilities run by private firm Castlebeck.
A board report for the Derbyshire PCT cluster reveals regional commissioners have also held a series of meetings with the care home provider. In response, Castlebeck has agreed to spend £4m on extra staffing, to write regularly to commissioners and have “monitoring meetings” every six weeks.
The cluster board report also references a little publicised report by the Department of Health-funded National Independent Team for Inclusion, into privately run learning disability hospitals. It found firms’ “top priority” was “the financial value of the company”.
The paper highlights that safeguarding duties will become part of clinical commissioning groups’ “core business”.