Radiology review

Care Quality Commission | July 2018 | Radiology review

A new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) sets out what the CQC found in their review of NHS radiology services in England. It calls for action to address reporting delays and keep people safe from harm.

What the CQC did:

To explore the extent of the problem we:

  • asked all NHS acute and community trusts to send us information about their reporting between August 2017 and October 2017
  • chose 30 trusts and looked in detail at their number of unreported images.

What they found:

  • The timescales for reporting on radiology examinations, and arrangements for monitoring and managing backlogs, vary widely between trusts.
  • There are few national standards that trusts can benchmark themselves against. This means they are not always clear what good looks like.
  • Even trusts that were monitoring their performance did not always report on time.
  • We found issues with staffing, including an average vacancy rate of 14% across trusts that responded. This supports existing evidence about the national difficulties in recruiting and retaining radiologists.

These issues call for local and national action, and public bodies will have to work together to address them.

CQC’s recommendations:

  • NHS trust boards should make sure:
    • they have effective oversight of radiology backlogs
    • they assess and manage risks to patients
    • they make good use of staffing and other resources to ensure timely reporting.
  • The National Imaging Optimisation Delivery Board should set out national standards for report turnaround times.
  • The Royal College of Radiologists and the Society and College of Radiographers should develop clear frameworks to help trusts manage turnaround times safely (Full details from CQC).

The full review, Radiology review: a national review of radiology reporting within the NHS in England, can be read at CQC


In the media:

BBC News Delays in radiology results ‘affecting patient care’



Learning disabilities and CQC inspection reports

Public Health England | July 2018 | Learning disabilities and CQC inspection reports






Adult inpatient survey 2017

Care Quality Commission | June 2018 | 2017 Adult Inpatient Survey

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently published the 2017 Adult Inpatient Survey.  Their results from the 2017 inpatient survey, compared with results from surveys dating back to 2009, show gradual improvements in a number of areas. This includes patients’ perceptions of:

  • the quality of communication between themselves and medical professionals (doctors and nurses)
  • the quality of information about operations or procedures
  • privacy when discussing their condition
  • quality of food
  • cleanliness of their room or ward


However, the results also indicate that responses to some questions are less positive or have not improved over time. This includes patients’ perceptions of:

  • noise at night from other patients
  • emotional support from staff during their hospital stay
  • information on new medications prescribed while in hospital
  • the quality of preparation and information for leaving hospital

Certain groups of patients consistently reported poorer experiences of their time in hospital, including:

  • patients with mental health conditions
  • younger patients (aged 16-35 years)
  • patients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

2017 Adult Inpatient  Survey Statistical release

2017 Adult Inpatient Survey: Quality and Methodology Report

Learning from Never Events- July update

Care Quality Commission | July 2018 | Learning from Never Events

Never Events are serious, largely preventable safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures are implemented. They include things like wrong site surgery or foreign objects left in a person’s body after an operation. Whilst they are rare – 469 cases have been provisionally reported between April 2017 and March 2018 – incidents can have devastating consequences for the patient, their family and the NHS.

The Care Quality Commission were asked to carry out a review of the issues that contribute to the occurrence of ‘Never Events’ in NHS trusts in England.

A full report is due to be published later in the year, but this publication provides an update on CQC’s progress into how into how organisations can reduce the risk of Never Events (Source: CQC).

Learning from Never Events : July 2018 update) is 

Beyond barriers: How older people move between health and social care in England

Care Quality Commission | July 2018 | Beyond barriers: How older people move between health and social care in England

Care Quality Commission (CQC) latest report brings together key findings and recommendations for change following the completion of 20 local authority area reviews exploring how older people move between health and adult social care services in England. 

Beyond barriers
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‘Beyond Barriers’ highlights some examples of health and care organisations working well together – and of individuals working across organisations to provide high quality care. But the reviews also found too much ineffective co-ordination of health and care services, leading to fragmented care. This was reinforced by funding, commissioning, performance management and regulation that encouraged organisations to focus on individual performance rather than on positive outcomes for people (Source: CQC).

An accompanying press release is here 

The report can be accessed from CQC

The state of care in urgent primary care services

This report presents findings from the Care Quality Commission’s programme of comprehensive inspections of urgent care centres, NHS 111 services and GP out-of-hours services.

state of care
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Urgent primary care services play a vital role in England’s healthcare system. They are the first step to ensure that people are seen by the professional best suited to deliver the right care and in the most appropriate setting.  A quick, safe and effective response from these services provides a good outcome for patients and takes pressure off other parts of the urgent care system.

This report presents some common themes and characteristics that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have found from their inspections.

The report found:

  • Urgent care services are an essential part of the healthcare system, particularly in taking pressure off other parts of the NHS at times of peak demand.
  • Urgent primary care services have been able to improve. Overall, the quality is good – although one in 10 services still require some improvement, particularly in initial assessment of people and timeliness of response to urgent needs.
  • Urgent care providers face pressures with staffing and workforce planning. This is compounded by the reality of unsocial working hours and high reliance on self-employed clinicians
  • Many providers experience difficulties in accessing people’s medical records.
  • NHS 111 in particular has the potential to take pressure off the NHS – and provide a better experience for people by giving advice and treatment in one place. However, to achieve this it must be adequately resourced. Commissioners need to support providers, take action if they are not meeting their contracts and integrate services more closely.
  • Many people are not aware of the range of urgent care services available. There is a need for more public information – and consistency of service provision.

Full report: The state of care in urgent primary care services. Findings from CQC’s programme of comprehensive inspections in England

Mental health patients report poorer hospital experiences

Young people and those with mental health problems experience a poorer than average inpatient experience, new data shows | Adult inpatient survey 2017 | Care Quality Commission | via OnMedica

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The majority of people who stayed as an inpatient in hospital were happy with the care they received, had confidence in the doctors and nurses treating them and had a better overall experience, according to a national survey from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

However, for a second year running, responses were less positive across most areas for patients with a mental health condition. Those with mental health conditions said they had less confidence and trust in hospital staff, thought they were treated with less respect and dignity and felt less informed about their care. These patients gave lower than average scores in relation to whether their needs, values and preferences were fully considered, and for the quality of the coordination and integration of their care.

The survey asked people to give their opinions on the care they received, including quality of information and communication with staff, whether they were given enough privacy, the amount of support given to help them eat and drink and assist with personal hygiene, and on their discharge arrangements.

For more information, please see the Adult inpatient survey 2017: Statistical release, which provides the results for all questions and contextual policy information.