Patients will be at the heart of health watchdog’s new strategy

A public talk by a man at the helm of a new strategy by the Care Quality Commission has reassured Dacorum patients that it has learned from its failures in the Mid Staffordshire Hospitals scandal.

The CQC’s new director of communications Chris Day spoke at a meeting in Hemel Hempstead’s Civic Centre on Monday which was organised by Dacorum Patients Group and attended by members of Healthwatch Herts, as well as borough and county councillors.

Chris Day, director of communications at the Care Quality Commission.

Chris Day, director of communications at the Care Quality Commission.

Mr Day introduced a new direction for the watchdog, which involves rating healthcare providers not only on hard data, but on the experiences of patients, too, through a strategy of ‘surveillance’.The new tactic would involve hosting ‘listening events’ such as the meet in Marlowes to gauge patients’ views.

Mr Day said: “The role of the public in how we understand and improve the way our health and care services are provided is very important. The CQC has managed to industrialise the way we use hard data, and I think we need to do the same with patients’ voice.”

Geoff Brown, chief executive of Healthwatch Herts, said: “Chris has shown us a model which gives real hope for patients and service users to be much more at the centre of things. It is important that people let us know their views so we can share them with the watchdog.”

Chairman of Dacorum Patients Group Mike Moore said: “I have been extremely enlightened by the CQC’s new approach. The efforts that are being made to put its problems right are immense, and we want to make sure that the patient remains at the heart of what is being done.” Visit dacorumpatientsgroup.org.uk or email info@healthwatchhertfordshire.co.uk to share your healthcare views.