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Chief inspector ‘full of admiration’ for hospital staff

The chief inspector of hospitals has said that his first round of inspections in NHS hospitals has turned up ‘a huge amount of very good care’.

Sir Mike Richards, told The Independent that despite a focus on ‘high-risk trusts’ the CQC had included a range of hospitals in its first 18 inspections.

Of the four which the CQC have published reports for so far, one has been placed in special measures, one received ‘severe criticism’ and the other two were praised by inspectors.

This follows results from a similar announcement by the CQC’s chief inspector for general practice, Professor Steve Field, which caused a furore among GPs. Despite only 2% of practices being identified as having serious failings, national newspapers and BBC outlets focused on the third of practices failing one standard and the finding of supposedly ‘maggot-infested’ surgeries.

Sir Richards pointed out that, even within hospitals, there can be a great deal of variation, saying: ‘What is interesting is that within an individual hospital there is variation. The maternity service might be very good but the A&E service might require improvement.’

He added: ‘We are seeing absolutely committed clinicians, both doctors and nurses and allied health professionals, everywhere we’ve gone, even in some of the trusts that are struggling most,”

‘We have seen people who are really committed to delivering high-quality care and are trying extremely hard. They may need extra support, but what we are seeing is a very committed workforce – quite remarkably so.’

‘I am full of admiration for them. It is what I hoped I would see, but seeing is believing’