It is our continued commitment and goal at Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) to check that people in Wales are receiving good quality care, which is provided safely and effectively, in line with recognised standards. Our goal is to encourage improvement in healthcare by doing the right work at the right time in the right place; ensuring what we do is communicated well and makes a difference.
One of the key priorities set out within our strategic plan is to take action when standards are not met. In line with this priority, and wishing to increase transparency about how we discharge our role in providing assurance to the public regarding the quality and safety of healthcare services, we have introduced a service of concern process for the NHS.
We will use this service of concern process when it identifies significant singular service failures, or cumulative or systemic concerns regarding a service or setting. Our escalation and enforcement process for independent healthcare currently utilises such a process.
This process will allow us to identify and highlight any ‘Service Requiring Significant Improvement’, increasing transparency around how we discharge our role, and ensuring that focused and rapid action can be taken by a range of stakeholders, including health boards, to ensure that safe and effective care is being provided.
Our intention in introducing this process, is to support improvement and learning, both for the service in question, and across NHS services more broadly.
The service of concern process and subsequent ‘Service Requiring Significant Improvement’ designation is distinct and separate to the NHS Escalation and Intervention arrangements. However, this process will inform our view and contribution to the discussions on overall status of NHS bodies.
If a ‘Service Requiring Significant Improvement’ is identified, we will communicate this on our website, alongside the reasons for this determination, in addition to any report that relates to an inspection or review of a health board/trust.