With both the local and mayoral elections as well as the EU referendum approaching, you may have heard about public bodies, like CQC, having to respect a ‘pre-election period’, which places certain short-term restrictions on what we’re allowed to publish and announce in the period before an election or referendum.
As a non-departmental public body, we also have a duty to be politically impartial – it is important that our conduct during the pre-election period, and at all times, does not call this into question.
We have been informed that the pre-election period will begin on Thursday 14 April 2016 and end on Thursday 5 May 2016 for the local and mayoral elections happening in parts of the country. It will begin on 27 May 2016 and end on the 23 June 2016 for the referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or not.
While we will not be publishing new national reports during this time, we want to be clear that this will not affect our activities that we class as ‘business as usual’.
As the regulator of health and adult social care, our role is to monitor, inspect, and regulate services to make sure people receive safe, high-quality and compassionate care and to encourage improvement. This will continue.
This means we will be carrying out inspections of health and adult social care services across the country, including planned and follow-up inspections, as well as those that are in response to concerns. Also, we will continue to take enforcement actions against providers that are not delivering the care that we expect from them and that people deserve.
We will continue to publish our findings and judgements of services in our inspections reports, including our ratings of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate so that providers and the public have clear information about the performance of their local services and providers can make the necessary improvements.
For example, while we can’t confirm the exact dates just yet, we expect to publish judgements and reports on the following NHS trusts during or around the local and mayoral pre-election period having already held listening events and carried out our inspections:
Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Brook Bristol (Sexual Health Service Provider)
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust
Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NSL South West Region (Non-urgent Private Ambulance Service Provider)
Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust
Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
West London Mental Health Trust
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
Also, we expect to publish the following inspection reports during or around the pre-EU referendum period:
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Medway NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust
Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Southend University Hospital NHS Trust
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (Community Health Service)
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Similarly, we will continue to publish inspection reports and judgements of adult social care and primary medical care services across the country throughout this period.
All of our inspection reports and judgements will be publicised in the normal way, including on our website and to the media, and we will continue to talk about the full range of our work, such as at events and in our blogs.
Further information on what this period means for public bodies is available on the Cabinet Office’s website.