These are part of new measures that come under the new Care Quality Commission (CQC), which will replace the Healthcare Commission, the current NHS supervisory body, in 2009. As well as regulating hospitals, the CQC will become responsible for overseeing general practitioners’ (GP) surgeries, care homes, and private facilities, all currently regulated by several different organisations.
The maximum fine of £50,000 would be issued for the most serious offences, e.g. not carrying out advised improvements after an infection outbreak. The proposals also include fixed penalty notices with fines up to £4,000, issued against Trusts that do not meet minimum hygiene standards. Further, if a Trust obstructs a CQC inspector, or fails to provide documents or data, it could be fined £1,250.
Although these draft measures, which will further govern hygiene control, have met with opposition, they are now under consideration.
See page 2: Advice on MRSA control