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Hospitals watchdog says NHS can improve care ‘without more money’

The outgoing chief inspector of hospitals said while more money was needed in the NHS, improvements could still be made.

England’s top hospital inspector has called for the transformation of emergency care, insisting that reforming the health service is not just about more funding.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) chief inspector of hospitals, said that while he had seen poor care in his job he had also seen hospitals improve without getting extra cash.

Sir Mike also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Brexit posed a threat to recruitment in the NHS which had to be addressed.

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Sir Mike Richard's said Brexit posed a threat to health recruitment (PA)

He said: “There’s no doubt the NHS needs more money, because of increasing demand on it and the need to transform services.

“But it’s also true, as we have seen, that things can be done better without more money, and that’s what we are encouraging alongside saying yes, we will need more money.”

Earlier this year Sir Mike said the NHS “stands on a burning platform” with four out of five trusts needing to improve on patient safety.

“What I meant by that is the number of people coming to A&E departments is going up, the number of people being admitted from A&E departments is going up, the difficulty in getting patients out of hospital again at the other end is going up,” he told Today.

“All of those create a burning platform where we need to transform the way we deliver emergency care. We need far greater integration between GPs, hospitals, care homes, community health services, to make that work.”

Sir Mike is stepping down from his role at the CQC at the end of the week.

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