However, the report also notes some variability in the completion of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNA CPR) orders. This was particularly with regards to communication with patients and relatives.
There was also found to be variation in the availability of specialist palliative care services – with some only operating five days a week, with telephone support and advice offered out of hours.
New inspection process
The new programme of hospital inspections, led by Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards, was introduced following The Francis report into the events at Mid Staffordshire and Professor Sir Bruce Keogh reviews of NHS trusts with high mortality ratios.
The report published this week also outlined how learning from the pilot inspections will be used to further improve the inspection process. Sir Mike Richards said: “We still have a lot to learn, but we have already begun to make some improvements to the inspection process. We want to make sure all our inspections are consistent in their approach and credible in their findings, that way they will be meaningful to the public and help drive improvement in hospitals”
End of life care
Referring to end of life care, the inspectors reported that it was difficult to assess quality of care across all conditions and clinical areas – away from palliative care units – and highlight a lack of standardised, system-wide data between trusts in terms of end of life care. The report suggests the need for better metrics, especially for those not under specialist palliative care.