Making a difference to the lives of those we serve

Natasha Sloman, head of Hospital Inspection at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), discusses how working with NICE has been fundamental in making her work a success

Natasha Sloman, head of Hospital Inspection at the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

I’m currently head of inspection at CQC and always looking for ways to support staff with easy tools that help them assess what good care looks like for people with mental health problems, substance misuse or learning disabilities. 

I feel that CQC and NICE have so much to offer to each other and feel proud that both organisations have worked hard in developing a good working relationship. The development of the NICE check list (for each of our 12 mental health core services) is a fantastic example of how we have worked together to improve CQC’s inspections of mental health services. We make sure that each checklist tells our inspectors, at an easy glance, where to find the related NICE guidance. This, in turn, helps inform and guide important decisions which allow for better care.

Rather than wade through reams of paper, CQC inspectors are able to choose the relevant NICE quality statement, research it online and then easily highlight it in our reports. They also serve to help our inspectors be more inquisitive and learn more about best practice. Ultimately they will support us to ensure that every patient receives the standard of care set out by NICE.

Increasingly, I’ve seen NICE’s Quality Standards appearing more and more in CQC reports as inspectors become more aware of what to look for and become much more confident in articulating exactly what standards should be in place. It’s amazing how well received and popular they’ve been and it’s been a great experience working with NICE staff who have been so efficient, and were pivotal to getting this work done.

Overall, this has been a great experience and I really feel I’ve contributed to making a difference to the lives of people we serve. Through highlighting our findings in our reports, providers of mental health services can see that we expect care to be compliant with NICE guidance. Where we find evidence that it isn’t, we can use this to take enforcement action.

Everyone deserves great care and should expect that care to reach best standards; hopefully our checklist goes some way in supporting that.

Find out more about being a NICE Fellow here.

Find out more about being a NICE Scholar here.

Natasha Sloman, head of Hospital Inspection at the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Tags: quality standards, mental health, staff support, tools, CQC, NICE Fellowship, apply for fellowship

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