Healthcare Regulation, Audit and Inspection

House of Lords written question – answered on 18th June 2003.

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Photo of Lord Clement-Jones Lord Clement-Jones Liberal Democrat

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which bodies are involved in healthcare regulation, audit and inspection in England; and how many employees they have.

Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

There are numerous organisations which regulate, audit and inspect differing aspects of the provision of hospital care at infrequent intervals. The majority of these organisations generally focus on one particular aspect of healthcare provision. Therefore, regulation, audit and inspection is only one area of their work. It is therefore not possible to distinguish whom, in any one organisation, is working on these areas of work.

The only body which undertakes a full inspection of National Health Service hospitals is the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) which undertakes a rolling programme of clinical governance reviews. On average each trust might be inspected once every four years. CHI currently employs 357 staff, 51 of which are engaged in inspection work. The National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) inspects private sector providers. The NCSC currently employs 2,285 staff, 53 of which are engaged in private and voluntary sector healthcare inspection work.

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