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DH proposes expanding CQC powers to cover wider health remit

The CQC could be given the powers to inspect a wider variety of health service providers, including cosmetic surgeons and community health services, under new proposals.

The Department of Health, which has opened a consultation into the proposals, says that the CQC has made “significant progress” in carrying out its existing duties of inspecting hospitals and social care services, following the passing of the Care Act 2014.

It says that the regulator should now be given the power to inspect and rate other services in the same way.

The proposed services are cosmetic surgeries, substance misuse services, termination of pregnancy services, independent community health service providers, refractive eye surgery providers and independent ambulance services and dialysis units.

A recent review of cosmetic surgery by Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director of NHS England, said that greater regulation of the sector is needed.

Professor Edward Baker, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said: “Extending the scope of our ratings to cover these additional services would allow us to celebrate even more good and outstanding care that is out there and to help the public be even clearer on those services that need additional support to improve.”

A recent study from Action Against Medical Accidents criticised the CQC for its duty of candour inspections, warning that they are ‘inconsistent’ and ‘superficial’.

Health and social care providers who are already assessed by the CQC are invited to respond to the consultation, which is open until 14 October. To take part, click here.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.


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