From 1 April, all NHS trusts in England have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by law to provide care. To achieve registration, UCLH met new standards of quality and safety set out by the CQC.
Sir Robert Naylor, chief executive, said: “I am very pleased that we have achieved registration without condition under the CQC’s new monitoring system. We are never complacent about quality and safety at UCLH and we will continue working to improve the patient experience and ensure the safe delivery of our services.”
The new standards cover important issues for patients such as treating people with respect, involving them in decisions about care, keeping clinical areas clean and ensuring services are safe. CQC inspections will involve observation of care, tracking of case studies and talking to patients and staff.
Under the new system, outcomes and the experience of patients are the main focus for the CQC’s judgement, although effective systems and processes continue to be required and assessed.
CQC chair Dame Jo Williams said: “This is just the first step... Once trusts are registered we will be monitoring them constantly, carrying out more unannounced inspections and using our enforcement powers to drive improvements.
“The NHS has never been regulated like this before and they are rising to the challenge. I’m pleased at the scale of ambition in the NHS to improve services. Trusts have fully engaged in the registration process and asked themselves tough questions about their own performance. No trust is perfect, but the best trusts know exactly where the problems lie and are already taking action address them.”
The CQC will draw together intelligence and information about NHS care from a range of sources, creating quality-and-risk profiles for every trust in the country.
The numbers of inspections at NHS trusts are set to rise significantly, however, these will be proportionate, targeting areas of concern and minimising inspection where organisations perform well.
At a minimum, CQC will review the trusts’ performance every two years against the 16 standards that relate most closely to quality and safety. The consequences for a trust that is not meeting standards can range from fines to, in extreme cases, closure because CQC has stronger enforcement powers than before.