The Royal College of Physicians is piling a ‘Hospital Health Check’, which aggregates a range of available data on trusts.

The college has committed to a series of 33 actions in response to Robert Francis QC’s Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, called Putting patients first.

One of these is to develop a ‘Hospital Health Check’, which will aggregate available data on trusts.

The report says the college holds data on many key aspects of the medical workforce, education and clinical performance within trusts, but has not attempted to aggregate them before.

This includes data about trust participation in national clinical audits and quality improvement programmes, RCP examination activity, consultant physician workforce demographics, clinical time, morale, and retirement plans.

“For the first time, the RCP is mapping these data across departmental boundaries, at hospital or trust level, with the aim of providing an overview of a given organisation and its physician-based workforce,” it says.

The RCP is already piloting this work.

Another commitment is to work with the Care Quality Commission to develop a “meaningful and effective system to inspect and rate hospital services”.

The CQC announced in July that it was introducing a new inspection regime that would see all trusts get an ‘Ofsted-style’ rating by 2015.

Putting Patients First says the college has significant concerns with the proposed hospital rating system.

“The RCP does not believe that a single score for a care provider is the best way forward. It will only provide an average score of variable performance, and would therefore be meaningless for patients accessing a high or low performing service.

“The RCP believes that hospitals are too complex to have one meaningful rating. Instead, we suggest that aggregate scores over each of the domains of quality would be a more effective and useful alternative to a single summary score for each provider,” it says.

Key to its response is the creation of the Future Hospital Commission, which was established to review all aspects of the design and delivery of inpatient hospital care. The commission will report on 12 September.

The college has committed to review its response to the Francis inquiry on an annual basis.