COVID-19: Pause of publication of inspection reports of NHS healthcare settings
We have decided with immediate effect to pause the production and publication of reports from inspections at NHS healthcare settings that took place prior to the announcement of our inspection pause.
On 17 March, we announced a pause on our routine inspection work until further notice. We did this in part to reduce the burden of any activities we conduct at a time when healthcare services are under considerable pressure due to COVID-19. To further play our part in reducing pressure on NHS services, we’ve decided with immediate effect to pause the production and publication of reports from inspections at NHS healthcare settings that took place prior to the announcement of our inspection pause.
Our usual process is to publish inspection reports three months after the inspection took place. Discussions and fact checking takes place between HIW and the setting inspected during this 3 month period. We recognise that this process requires staff time within the NHS and given the significant pressure the NHS is facing, pausing the production of our reports will help free up staff time within the service. Our decision has been taken in line with the Welsh Government’s framework of actions for COVID-19 that includes minimising regulatory requirements for health and care settings.
For independent healthcare settings, including dental practices that are registered to provide private dental service, we will consider each inspection report on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the setting. Our aim is to continue to share reports with the public in a timely way whilst also considering the heightened pressure that some settings will find themselves under at this time.
As we previously stated, although our routine inspection activity is paused, it may still be necessary to use our inspection powers in a very small number of cases when there is clear evidence to do so. In this circumstance, we will aim to produce a report of any inspection we do carry out in line with our normal processes.
We will continue to consider official advice around measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19, and to reassess our decisions as the situation changes.