Monthly column for providers and professionals working in healthcare from Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

Image for post
Image for post

We often associate harsh weather conditions with winter, but extreme heat brings its own set of challenges! This month has seen the hottest day of the year, and with it, difficult working conditions for many people. As the warm weather continues, we are encouraging those working in health and care to be #TempAware.

As well as making sure you’re keeping cool and hydrated, please consider the support you could offer to those in your care to make sure we’re looking after the most vulnerable people in our communities. You can find more information on our website.

Earlier this month we published a new resource looking at how providers have used new technologies to try and meet the needs of people using their services and improve the quality of care. As the healthcare landscape evolves, it presents new and innovative ways of caring for people. These examples look at how services are doing things differently and what that means for people and regulation.

As the regulator of health and social care, the quality of care and safety of people who receive it is paramount for us. However, that doesn’t mean that regulation has to be a barrier to innovation, and we are committed to encouraging innovation and improvement.

This new resource is the latest in our ‘driving improvement’ series, with previous editions looking at NHS and mental health trusts and independent hospitals. You can also revisit our recent publication exploring the approaches taken by a range of health and social care providers to make effective use of their staff.

In previous columns I have mentioned our role as the enforcement authority for the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR(ME)R) in England.

It was within this remit that we proactively inspected specialist paediatric radiology services in 12 NHS children’s hospitals in England. We found some examples of good practice, but also identified some common themes and areas for improvement around governance, training and compliance with equipment quality assurance requirements. We also heard from radiology staff that felt they had limited opportunity to share areas of good practice with other departments to help improve radiation protection across the hospital.

Visit our website to see the full details of our findings, and review the recommendations we have made to help trusts ensure they provide safe services to their patients.

You may remember that last year we published a review of the first year of NHS trusts implementing national guidance on learning from deaths. While we did see signs of progress, we highlighted the need for a more open learning culture across the NHS to drive further improvement at the pace needed.

Our report called for national partners to work together to develop a national framework to give NHS trusts clarity on the actions required when someone in their care dies and to help ensure that learning is promoted and used to improve care and ensure the involvement of families as equal partners alongside NHS staff.

We are pleased that NHS England has this month published national guidance for ambulance trusts on learning from deaths, which is welcome progress in addressing our call for consistent guidance.

I would also like to highlight a suite of resources on enhancing supervision for postgraduate doctors in training, which has been produced by Health Education England with support from CQC and NHS England and Improvement. I would encourage you to review the resources and share with colleagues, to help ensure consistency in the support and supervision for doctors in training.

Finally, I am pleased to share that CQC will start to use ‘hello my name is’ badges in support of the campaign started in memory of Dr Kate Granger MBE.

We recognise that the #hellomynameis campaign values are similar to our own. They both focus on prompt and effective patient communication, starting with a simple introduction. We are proud to join over 400,00 health workers from across the world in backing this initiative for more personalised care

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store