On-the-spot inspections of care homes and NHS services will continue throughout the holidays, it has been announced.

The announcement means this will be the third consecutive year that the Care Quality Commission has pressed ahead with its programme of unannounced inspections of health and social care providers through the festive period.

Findings from the Christmas inspections will be reported early next year.

CQC operations director Amanda Sherlock said it was vital that inspections were not just carried out 9am-5pm on weekdays but also at times when care homes and NHS services come under most stress such as evenings, weekends and holidays such as Christmas and new year.

She added: “It is vital that despite the time of year the public get a good service from providers and that these services are safe and meet national standards. People should expect to be treated well and have their rights and dignity respected no matter when or what time of year it is.”