Published: 27/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5907 Page 12

Key developments in the world of inspection and scrutiny across health and social care

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals trust has been told to focus on its trauma and orthopaedic services in order to improve patient experience and teamworking among consultants.The Healthcare Commission report also calls for systems to improve medical leadership.The trust, however, receives praise for its integration of modern matrons into clinical teams, which has ensured improvements in the patient experience.

In reports on three Devon primary care trusts, the Healthcare Commission expresses concern about access to services, particularly dentistry. It highlights the fact that for Exeter PCT rates of tooth decay in adolescents are 'significantly higher' than the national average. East Devon PCT is also advised to tackle high admission rates in mental health, but is congratulated for its services for older people.Access to mental health services is difficult for MidDevon PCT patients, but the 'extensive number'of GP branch surgeries to ease the situation is applauded by reviewers.

The Healthcare Commission has published a review of Derbyshire Mental Services Health trust which says that patients require better access to day centre activities and out-of-hours services as well as counselling.The report also highlights the fact that carers and relatives need to be more involved in decisions on patient care.While child and adolescent services are praised, referral for non-urgent cases should be better managed as part of general improvements to strategy planning, it adds.

Mental health services are also examined in a review of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnerships trust.User involvement, risk assessment and staff induction receive particular plaudits, but the Healthcare Commission says that the trust's poor financial position risks current and future service development. IT infrastructure also needs attention, it says.

www. healthcarecommission. org. uk

The Commission for Social Care Inspection has identified five key areas in which it will seek to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of social care provider regulation.CSCI chief inspector David Behan says the commission will focus on: providers of poorer service, paperwork reduction, better communication of the experience of living at particular homes, development of 'case-tracking' for detailed examination of the experience of particular groups of individuals, and review of the way in which the CSCI responds to complaints.This is the first stage of the CSCI's efforts to modernise the regulatory system; a timetable for development will be set out in the summer.

www. csci. org. uk