Leadership key aspect to improved CQC hospital ratings, report finds

David Hare looks at the NHS Long Term Plan
David Hare, chief executive, IHPN

A better approach to leadership has been found to be the most important aspect of improving a hospital’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating.

In a report from the CQC titled, Driving improvement: Case studies from eight independent hospitals, the healthcare regulator spoke with eight hospitals that had made significant improvements in the quality of care and improved their CQC rating on re-inspection.

It found that one of the biggest aspects to supporting improvement across all hospitals was robust leadership and meaningful engagement with staff.

Leaders became more visible and made an effort to listen to staff and bring them into discussions about changes and improvements.

An open and honest approach to reporting and learning from incidents, and involving staff in the improvement journey were common themes found across the hospitals featured in the report.

The CQC visited and spoke with staff including senior leaders, clinical and administrative staff, patients and Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) chairs from a range of private hospital operators such as the Ramsay Hospital Group, Spire Healthcare plc, BMI Healthcare and HCA Healthcare UK.

The report also highlighted six other key areas that were important in improving hospital ratings, including culture, communications, learning, staffing, engaging with patients and the public and engaging with the CQC.

In a foreword for the report, David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said the case studies ‘makes clear the critical importance of CQC’s inspection process and their focus both on providing a thorough assessment of standards of care while also recognising that it has a vital role to play in the provider improvement journey.’

‘Safety and quality of care is ultimately the responsibility of the healthcare provider itself and this report illustrates how central this is to the independent acute sector, with clinical and managerial staff at all levels taking ownership for driving change,’ Hare continued.