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Update on publication of Inspection reports of health care settings during COVID-19

On 14 April, we announced a pause on publication of reports from inspections at NHS healthcare settings that took place prior to our decision to pause new routine inspections on 17 March. Our statement from 14 April outlines our reasons for doing so.

Our usual process is to publish inspection reports three months after the inspection takes place. Discussions and fact-checking takes place between HIW and the setting inspected during this three month period. We recognise that this process requires staff time within the NHS and given the significant pressure the NHS was facing in early April, we decided that pausing the production of our reports would help free up staff time within the service. 

Over recent weeks, we’ve been in dialogue with health boards about restarting our process of fact-checking our inspection reports, within an appropriate timeframe, prior to publication. We are now in a position where we can begin to publish reports that have completed the fact-checking process and move other reports forwards towards publication. Where reports are for primary care settings we will contact them directly to discuss these arrangements.

Our process for publication of inspection reports of independent healthcare settings remains the same as set out on 14 April 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 may still find themselves under.

Whilst our routine inspection work remains on pause, as we’ve previously stated, 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 have also now been able to start moving forward with aspect of our review work.

We will continue to consider official advice around measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19, and to reassess our decisions as the situation changes.

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