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Hospital Inspections

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times, on average, NHS hospitals are inspected each year; and by whom. [106540]

The only body which undertakes a full inspection of national health service hospitals is the Commission for Health Improvement, which undertakes a rolling programme of clinical governance reviews. On average, each trust might be inspected once every four years.There are other Department of Health organisations which inspect differing aspects of the provision of hospital care at infrequent intervals, but these are not full inspections and generally focus on one particular aspect of healthcare provision. These include Community Health Councils, which can inspect NHS hospitals at any time and patient environment action teams, which visit NHS hospitals annually to assess standards of cleanliness.