Thursday, November 29, 2012

Does CQC have some work to do?

Below is my email to Lord Howe sent earlier today, it seems that the CQC need to tell Mr Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health that the planned closure of KGH maternity in February next year is safe.
I can't find a record of this happening hence the email.

Earl Howe
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Quality (Lords)

Dear Lord Howe

Thank you for writing to Redbridge Council, in your letter of 29.10.12 you write.

" changes will take place until until the Care Quality Commission...has assured the Secretary of State and other local health services are of a high standard"

However, King George Hospital maternity unit is to close in February 2012 without the CQC saying it is safe to do so.

I would be grateful if you could let me know if you agree that the CQC must say the closure process is a safe one before the unit can be closed.

My recollection is that Mr Lansley gave assurances about the CQC and the closure of hospital units when endorsing the IRP decision on 27.10.11 but I cannot find his letter, please could you send me a copy of his letter of that date.

The Press Release below suggests the Secretary of State is to be written to by the CQC, but Mr Lansley's letter of 27.10.11 may have a stronger wording.

The most recent CQC report I can find is 27 June 2012 (there may be a more recent one)
and states at

"The progress report shows that, of the 81 recommendations made in the investigation report last October, 27 have been met and 48 partly met to date. Structures across the Trust have been changed as a result of CQC recommendations, although it is too early to say in many cases whether permanent improvements have been achieved.
While the Trust has made improvements, especially across maternity and radiology services, emergency care still remains a serious concern. More also needs to be done to improve staffing across the Trust. The Trust is struggling to deal with increased complaints, which may have been sparked by the CQC investigation.
Matthew Trainer, Deputy Director of CQC in London, said:
“The direction of travel at the Trust is encouraging but - as they acknowledge - they still have some way to go before they are consistently delivering the quality of care that local people are entitled to expect."

This does not appear to meet the criteria set down by Mr Lansley before King George maternity can be shut.

Yours sincerely

Andy Walker
DoH press release 27.10.11

However, no changes will take place until the Care Quality Commission, which published its own report on local services today, has assured the Secretary of State that the services provided by Queen’s Hospital and other local health services are of a high standard.  The IRP recommendations also require a vision for the future of King George’s Hospital in Ilford to have been presented prior to implementation.
As the IRP report makes clear, the proposals set out in Health for North East London, first published for public consultation in 2009, offer the best possible configuration of local health services to provide a high quality NHS in the future. The Secretary of State for Health has accepted the IRP’s recommendations in full, but they will only proceed to implementation when actions agreed by the Trust in cooperation with NHS London and the wider local NHS, in response to the Care Quality Commission’s inspection report, are implemented, and the Secretary of State has been assured of their effect.

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