CQC praises providers in pilot of NHS 111 inspections

The CQC has completed its pilot inspection scheme of NHS 111 services, largely praising three providers for being caring, well-led and safe, despite not allocating official ratings at this stage.

Professor Steve Field: 111 ratings piloted
Professor Steve Field: 111 ratings piloted

The Mallard House Call Centre, provided by Derbyshire Health United; the North West Ambulance Trust NHS 111 Service and the Isle of Wight Ambulance 111 Service were inspected as part of a pilot for the watchdog’s future NHS 111 regime.

They were selected due to being ‘of different sizes and types to enable us to test our approach in a range of different settings’, the CQC said.

Much like in practice inspections, the providers were assessed based on whether they were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led - with the three receiving mostly praise on these counts in their inspection reports.

Because they were the first NHS 11 providers to be inspected, CQC opted not to assign them one of its overall ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ ratings at this stage.

CQC NHS 111 inspections

The watchdog wrote in its reports: ‘We carried out the inspection as part of our new inspection programme to test our approach going forward and therefore we did not provide a rating for the service.’

GP specialist advisors were included on the inspection teams. The CQC has committed to inspecting and rating all NHS 111 services by the end of September 2016 – the same date as its extended GP practice target. Following this, they will be inspected at least once every three years.

CQC chief inspector of primary care Professor Steve Field said: ‘We expect these services to demonstrate that they prioritise people with the most urgent needs at times of high demand, and to ensure that care and advice is delivered safely and effectively, and they are referred to the right service as quickly as possible when necessary.’

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