From 1 April, national health service providers of regulated activities are required by law to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and assessed against a set of 16 safety and quality requirements. CQC has, therefore, recently scrutinised the registration applications of all NHS trusts in the country.
In December 2009, CQC conducted a regional review of all trusts identified as having high hospital standardised mortality ratios and considered this information as part of the registration process for every trust, alongside other data.
Where CQC does not have sufficient evidence of compliance with the requirements, it can impose conditions on the trust's registration, to force it to improve essential levels of quality and safety within timescales specified by CQC.
Once trusts are registered, CQC continues to look at their mortality rates and will continuously monitor compliance with the essential safety and quality requirements, as part of the new system of regulation.