Measuring quality through inspection: the validity, reliability and impact of Care Quality Commission (CQC) assessments of acute hospitals in England

Arrival: 12pm Seminar : 12.15pm - 1.15pm.

Tea, coffee and sandwiches provided (please register if you want these, and to guarantee a seat!)


Alan Boyd, Research Associate in Healthcare & Public Sector Management, Manchester Business School

Kieran Walshe, Professor of Health Policy & Management, Manchester Business School


Over recent years there have been several high profile failures of care in NHS acute hospitals in England which have caused many to question the ability of the healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to identify and act on poor performance. In response, during 2013 and 2014 CQC implemented a new regulatory model for acute hospitals. The new model relies on the expert judgement of practising clinicians, managers, patients and their advocates.

Kieran Walshe and Alan Boyd from the Manchester Business School, together with researchers from the King’s Fund, have evaluated the new regulatory model. Download the evaluation report.

This seminar presents new findings from analyses conducted since the evaluation report was published. These focus on the validity, reliability and impact of CQC assessments of services and Trusts. The following questions will be considered:

  • Are inspectors consistent in their assessments of services?

  • Do the assessments actually reflect the quality of services?

  • Do the overall ratings given to Trusts reflect the assessments of individual services on which they are based?

  • What are the implications for the new regulatory model, and how might it be improved? The seminar will be of interest to anyone who wants inspections to provide accurate and useful information about the quality of hospital services, and in particular to senior managers and clinicians in NHS acute trusts whose services are the subject of CQC inspections.

About the speakers

Alan Boyd has research interests in the regulation, governance and improvement of public services, focusing particularly on healthcare, including health research and health systems strengthening in low and middle income countries. He has particular expertise in evaluation methods.

Kieran Walshe has twenty years experience in health policy, health management and health services research. He has particular interests and expertise in quality and performance in healthcare organisations; the governance, accountability and performance of public services; and the use of evidence in policy evaluation and learning. His books include Regulating Healthcare: A Prescription for Improvement (2003); Patient Safety: Research into Practice (2005); Healthcare Management (2006, 2011); Health Policy and Management: A Reader (2009); and From Knowing to Doing: Connecting Knowledge and Performance in Public Services (2010).


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