The case for downgrading quality ratings of long-stay hospitals

In a letter to the editor of The Times VODG chief executive Dr Rhidian Hughes summarises the concerns of over 40 charities which call for powers for CQC to downgrade the quality ratings of private hospitals.

“Sir, It is with dismay that I urge the government to order the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to downgrade the quality rating of inpatient units after the Whorlton Hall abuse scandal highlighted on Panorama. More than 40 care sector charities are calling for the joint committee on human rights to question the CQC in parliament today about the regulation of private hospitals (assessment and treatment units). These units are designed to be short-stay places where people receive support, but instead they subject people to protracted periods of containment and isolation. The government should instruct the CQC to give a “requires improvement” rating to any secure unit where a patient has been living for more than 12 months. The rating should be downgraded to “inadequate” if anyone has been living there for 24 months, and all new admissions halted until the rating has improved.”