In the wake of NHS reviews such as the Francis report, the Care Quality Commission has completely revised its approach to inspections.
Those working in the 40 or so NHS trusts where the CQC piloted its new approach from September 2013 to April 2014 will have had first hand experience of the new inspections. So how have things changed, and what can be learned from the pilot programme?
Previously, the CQC inspected acute hospitals using its generic regulatory standards, with small teams of two or three inspectors who often had limited acute sector experience. Each inspection involved a couple of days on site, and usually involved only one or two specialties or a few ward areas.