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We have won an award for our work with the CQC!!!

01/07/2015

Making a difference with the Care Quality Commission 2014-2015

Picture of us getting our award from David Behan, Chief Executive of the CQCLast night we received an award for "Making a difference with the Care Quality Commission" (CQC) at the Healthwatch national annual conference. We  were presented with our award by David Behan, Chief Executive of the CQC. There were more than 150 applicants for the 8 different award categories, so we were delighted to be recognised for our work in this area. 

The CQC is the independent health and adult social care regulator. Their job is to check whether hospitals, care homes, GPs, dentists and services in your home are meeting national standards. They do this by inspecting services and publishing their findings.  

Over the last year we have worked with the CQC to help make sure that peoples' experiences  are listened to when local care services are being inspected. We achieved this award based on the work we did supporting people's voices to be heard during hospital inspections. 

Photo of award recipients at Healthwatch awards (C) Patrick Vernon

Four out of five of our NHS Trust providers were inspected during 2014-15 and we have been involved in detailed conversations with CQC around each inspection. We have promoted the inspections locally and have listened to local people's experiences of care, sharing them with the CQC in an anonymised format.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital was inspected in September 2014. We promoted the inspection locally asking for feedback on care, as well as running a Listening Event for the CQC, to help gather additional evidence. We submitted 60 separate pieces of evidence of care to the inspectors, as well as the feedback from our Listening Event. The feedback was wide-ranging including positive, negative and mixed experiences. The CQC’s final report was published in January 2014, when the hospital was placed in Special Measures. Circle, the private company who had been managing the hospital, withdrew from its contract the same day.

Since the Hinchingbrooke Hospital inspection report, we’ve attended a range of meetings with CQC colleagues, Hinchingbrooke Hospital management and other stakeholders, to ensure that the experiences of people who use the hospital services, are at the heart of the work to improve care.  We are continuing to call for evidence on care at Hinchingbrooke to help us identify whether patients are seeing an improvement.

We supported gathering evidence for both the Papworth Hospital (Dec 2014) and Cambridge University Hospital (April 2015) Inspections on a regional level, as these are both specialist NHS providers. We shared our communications tools with Healthwatch England and colleagues across the network. 

We have challenged the CQC whenever we have found issues in their methodology. We told them that often information about a forthcoming inspection is published too close to the date when evidence needs to be submitted and this makes it harder for local people to feed back. For the Papworth Hospital inspection the CQC said they wanted to target people with learning difficulties, however the easy read information on their website was incomplete and confusing.

Fiona Allinson, the Head of Hospital Inspection at the CQC, said:

“Healthwatch Cambridgeshire have been very supportive of hospital inspections in their area. They have engaged with CQC inspectors and highlighted concerns raised with them about services from the local NHS Hospitals." 

"During the run up to the Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust inspection the Healthwatch team undertook a focus group event at which they invited many members of the public to share their experiences. These were then gathered and sent to CQC local inspectors. CQC inspectors attended the event and were able to share information about the inspection with the general public." 

The Healthwatch team also attended the several meetings following the inspection to share the views of the public and have offered to support the trust in gaining the views of the public on their services to enhance services at the trust. This shows great support for the hospital and good joint working to improve care.”

Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:

“We had a very high standard of award entries this year, so Healthwatch Cambridgeshire should be extremely proud of their success in the Making a Difference with the CQC category. 

"The work they have done with the CQC locally, ensuring that the experiences of people using hospital services influences inspection and are at the heart of improvements, is a shining example of how involving and informing local people in discussions about health and social care can really make a sustainable impact and bring about long-term change to services." 

 Sandie Smith, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Cambridgeshire said:

"We are honoured that our team has been given this award; it is gratifying to be recognised for our work. We know that CQC inspections can be difficult for the organisations inspected; however, for us making sure that local people's voices are listened to has remained a priority."

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