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17.01.18

CQC pauses routine inspections over January to help with ‘increased pressure’

The CQC will pause certain routine inspections of acute, urgent care and GP services this month as services struggle to cope with this year’s increased winter pressures.

In a report from the regulator’s chief executive, Sir David Behan, suggests looking into the circumstances of individual acute trusts and rescheduling planned inspections to more suitable dates.

This would just be for the rest of January, with inspections returning to normal next month after the completion of a review of system performance.

“We have taken the decision to pause some routine inspections of NHS acute services, GP practices and urgent care services planned for January,” the report states.

“This is in response to increased pressure on the health and care system as services cope with additional demand driven in part by a rise in respiratory illness and flu.”

Pressure on services has risen at unexpected rates this winter, forcing health bosses to cancel certain non-emergency procedures in order to reduce the demand for services.

Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised for the cancellations – saying that the level of pressure on services had surprised leaders across the NHS, despite heavy preparations.

Behan, who recently announced his intention to step down from his CEO role, will present the situation to other CQC executives at the organisation’s upcoming January board meeting.

The former director general of social care in local government and care partnerships will be leaving his position in the summer, giving CQC chair Peter Wyman time to pick a replacement. He has held the role for six years and has worked in the health and social care sector for more than 40 years.

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