A new scheme of mock inspections of community health services has started in Northamptonshire in a bid to drive up standards and ensure services are fit for purpose.
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) has started a pilot scheme of inspections of community-based services, which follow similar formats to the official inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
CQC is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England and inspects hospitals and other health services, before publishing its findings.
Earlier this month, NHFT’s Quality Assurance team visited the community therapy rehabilitation team at the John Notley Rehabilitation Unit to carry out an announced mock inspection.
Perminder Bhela, the NHFT head of assurance, said: “We are very pleased with how the first mock inspections have gone, and the services have dealt with them very well.
“As part of the inspection we also spoke to patients and got lots of positive feedback from them about the staff, both face to face and through comment cards.
“We already do these inspections for inpatient services but up until now we had not done them for community, and it is quite a different environment.
“Four mock community service inspections will take place throughout the summer and the plan is to roll the scheme out to all of our community services from September 2013.”
Janet Jousiffe, a team and clinical facilitator at NHFT, whose service at the John Notley unit was inspected, said: “This is a great idea because our standards are more transparent - the public can see what we are doing very clearly and it will help to instil confidence in our services.”
More information on NHFT is available at www.nhft.nhs.uk.
For more information about CQC, go to www.cqc.org.uk.