NHS regulator delays inspections as it struggles to fill posts in tougher regime

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 19 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7733
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The main regulator of the NHS has admitted that it faces a challenge in finding enough “high calibre” inspectors to become part of its new, more thorough inspection regime, despite receiving extra investment from central government.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) plans to increase its workforce of inspectors from around 850 currently to 1450 by the end of next year, but it has had to delay some planned inspections while it tries to recruit enough new staff.

MPs on the parliamentary health committee quizzed witnesses at their annual accountability hearing with the CQC on 16 December. They asked David Prior, CQC chairman, whether the regulator was fit for purpose. Prior replied, “We’ve come a long way, but we haven’t got to where we want to be. We are a very different organisation to the one that we were over a year …

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