In the interests of patient care and quality of health services, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) should publish their inspection report into Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust before commissioners hand out multi-million pound NHS contracts, says West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper.
Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are currently bidding for community services and some urgent care service contracts in West Lancashire along with community service contracts with Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group and Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group.
In May 2016 Bridgewater Community Healthcare was inspected by the CQC on the quality of their services and the organisation. Usually it takes five to six months for the final inspection report and the all-important official rating to be published.
MP Rosie Cooper believes residents and commissioners cannot wait that long as a decision on the future of local health services looms. Bridgewater Community Healthcare’s lack of any official quality rating has led MP Rosie to write to the CQC’s chief executive asking for their report to be expedited ahead of any contracts being awarded.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“It seems ridiculous that we have these inspection regimes to assess the quality of health care providers yet organisations without any such official rating can still be allowed to bid for multi-million pound contracts anyway. It makes a mockery of the inspection and contract tendering processes. It is grossly unfair to organisations which have been inspected and their ratings published.
“We have a situation in which potentially an organisation, such as Bridgewater Community Healthcare, could be awarded several contracts yet the content of the report on the quality of their services isn’t known and may or may not show whether they are meeting the higher standards of care, which should be required.
“A definite case of putting the cart before the horse. For this reason I have asked for the CQC inspection report to be published ahead of any decisions by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) on these high value contracts delivering essential health services to people in the community and in their homes.
“If we are putting the interests of patients first then the CCGs should have all the facts and information available to them ahead of such major decisions that will affect local health services users.”