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The state of hospice services in England 2014 to 2017

Findings from CQC’s initial programme of comprehensive inspections of hospice services

In 2013, CQC set out its plans to radically transform the regulation of adult social care services, including hospices. A year later, we began our new programme of comprehensive inspections, with ratings to make it easy for people to understand the quality of care and to help them choose care; a focus on identifying, highlighting and celebrating good practice; and a determination to drive improvement and hold providers to account for poor care.

We have now completed this initial programme of comprehensive inspections and ratings. This report focuses on hospices. CQC regulates, inspects and rates in-patient hospices, day hospices and community-based hospice services, including those for children.

Hospices represent a very small proportion of the services we regulate – around 200 out of a total of 24,000 adult social care locations inspected between October 2014 and January 2017. In our next phase of inspections, CQC moves from 11 inspection frameworks to two – one for health services and one for adult social care. In recognition of the varying nature and complexity of hospice services, the care pathways involved and the extent of clinical knowledge and experience required to inspect them, hospices will now be regulated within the healthcare framework and move from the responsibility of the Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care to the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.