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Regulator demands and costs too high, say hospital chiefs


13 April 2017

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Two thirds of trusts reported an increase in demand from regulators including NHS Improvement and the CQC, while more than half said the current regulation system provided ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ value for money, a survey by NHS Providers found.

The report found a similar proportion said that regulatory requirements including requests for information and inspections felt disproportionate to the level of risk they were managing and did not help them to overcome the underlying challenges they face.

Two thirds of trusts reported an increase in demand from regulators including NHS Improvement and the CQC, while more than half said the current regulation system provided ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ value for money, a survey by NHS Providers found.

The report found a similar proportion said that regulatory requirements including requests for information and inspections felt disproportionate to the level of risk they were managing and did not help them to overcome the underlying challenges they face.

Although trusts said they welcomed steps taken by regulators to create a more supportive approach many are concerned that they will have to absorb the costs.

Healthcare Leader previously reported an increase in CQC regulatory fees that will see trusts paying up to £202,239 a year.

Saffron Cordery, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said: ‘Patient safety and service quality must remain the priority for regulators, but we risk diverting time and attention from where it is most needed – on the frontline. 

‘Regulation is complex, and it is timely for regulators to consider these findings as they develop their approach to oversight of STPs as set out in the recent Next steps on the NHS five year forward view.

However, she added that the survey shows improvements on the part of the regulators through the CQC’s new inspection regime launched in April, and the development of NHS Improvement’s single oversight framework.

The survey received 76 responses from 22 NHS trusts and 54 NHS foundation trusts, representing 32 per cent of NHS trusts.

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