Healthwatch Lancashire take part in mock CQC inspections

Healthwatch Lancashire is working in partnership with University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) by participating in mock Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections to ensure that improvements which were put into place following the publication of a CQC inspection report in the summer have shown results.


The first mock inspection took place this week at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, along with governors, non-executive directors, senior managers and directors, to ensure services are up to scratch.

The group of “inspectors” were given a briefing to ensure they knew what CQC inspectors were looking for to ensure that the highest standards of quality care was being given to patients across all the wards and areas inspected.

Gill Brown, Healthwatch Lancashire Chief Executive, said: “Taking part in the mock inspections at Royal Lancaster Infirmary demonstrates our role to work in partnership with health and social care services to ensure the patient voice has been heard and acted upon by those who manage, run and regulate services in Lancashire.”

George Nasmyth, Medical Director, UHMBT, said: “Six teams – each containing three people – visited different areas of the hospital to ensure the care was up to the standards we would expect – using criteria the Care Quality Commission rely upon to score each area.”

“We then brought everyone together to ensure that the ratings given were based upon the characteristics of each rating level used by the CQC.”
Mary Aubrey, Director of Governance, UHMBT, said: “It is important to reassure ourselves that the work we are undertaking a s part of the improvements is translating into quality care for our patients.

“We are looking at Leadership, vision and strategy, Governance and risk management, evidence of learning, culture and staff engagement, staffing levels, the availability of records, standards of documentation and clinical decision making, the application of national and local audit findings and operational performance and management as part of our focus.”

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “We have already carried out a number of RAISE visits (Review and Inspection of Standards for Excellence) – but these visits take it one step further.

“By conducting these visits we can provide reassurance that the standards the CQC expect are implemented on wards throughout our hospitals.
“The mock inspection process aims to provide evidence of areas of excellent practice and to identify areas where there is further work to be undertaken. It is important that good practice is recognised and shared. It is also important that where there is room for improvement, that our front line teams are supported to achieve this.”

Healthwatch Lancashire will be taking part in further mock inspections which will take place across the Trust – including at Furness General Hospital – in the coming weeks.

Pictured right: Healthwatch Lancashire Volunteer Co-ordinator, Sheralee Turner-Birchall (right), taking part in the mock inspection with Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT.