Compliance and regulation
We conform to agreed standards of care and this is externally assessed and benchmarked by a number of outside organisations which include the Care Quality Commission, the NHS Litigation Authority and the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, and the Health & Safety Executive. The Trust also receives visits from external agencies.
Care Quality Commission
Each year we are externally validated on our performance by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. It regulates care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. Its aim is to make sure better care is provided for everyone - in hospitals, care homes and people's own homes.
From 1 April 2010, 378 NHS trusts in England have had to be registered with CQC by law to provide care. To be registered, trusts must show they meet new essential standards of quality and safety, which the regulator will constantly monitor.
The new standards cover important issues for patients such as treating people with respect, involving them in decisions about care, keeping clinical areas clean, and ensuring services are safe.
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust was one of the first 66 hospital trusts to be registered and without conditions. Trusts will continued to be monitored to check that they are delivering to the standards required in registration. Information about our CQC registration, our inspections and surveys are available on the CQC website.
In 2009/10, our Trust issued a public declaration stating that we have achieved all the Healthcare Commission Core Standards of Healthcare. The Healthcare Commission has been replaced by the CQC.
Our Trust was also independently assessed by the Healthcare Commission (now the CQC) and rated "good" for quality of services in the report.
NHS Litigation Authority and Clinical Negligence Schemes for Trusts
The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts handles all clinical negligence claims against member NHS bodies where the incident in question took place on or after 1 April 1995 (or when the body joined the scheme, if that is later). Although membership of the scheme is voluntary, all NHS Trusts (including Foundation Trusts) and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England currently belong to the scheme.
The costs of the scheme are met by membership contributions. Individual member contribution levels are influenced by a range of factors, including the type of trust, the specialties it provides and the number of “whole time equivalent” clinical staff it employs. Discounts are available to those trusts which achieve the relevant NHSLA risk management standards and to those with a good claims history. Our Trust is currently entitled to a discount and has been assessed at Level 1 (February 2010). Our Trust is working to achieve Level 2 over the coming year.
Health & Safety Executive
It is Trust policy to do all that is reasonably practical to provide a safe environment for patients, visitors and others using our facilities. The appropriate polices, procedures and risk assessments are in place and reviewed regularly to ensure the Trust meets its statutory duties. The Trust recognises that successful health and safety management requires strong partnership working especially raising awareness with staff. The Trust support this through relevant training and supervision of staff and the monitoring of any third party contractors. The Trust has an accredited Local Security Management Specialist and is a partner in local crime and disorder partnerships.