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Incidents and enforcement

Reports of incidents, unsatisfactory situations and ongoing shortcomings play an important role in the Inspectorate’s supervisory and enforcement activities. Some reports may prompt the Inspectorate to take immediate enforcement action. All reports form an important source of information regarding the quality of care.

If the Inspectorate receives a report which suggests serious shortcomings in the quality of care, or less serious shortcomings which are nevertheless of a structural, ongoing nature, the Inspectorate will take enforcement action. The measures available range from advice and encouragement to correction or coercion.

The Inspectorate analyses all incoming reports, using the results to underpin its opinions regarding the quality of care in the various sectors of the health care system. The Inspectorate may also investigate the reports further during its inspection visits.

Not every report is investigated by the Inspectorate

In order to maintain its efficiency and effectiveness, the Inspectorate does not investigate all incoming reports itself. In many cases, the Inspectorate will request the health care provider concerned to conduct an internal investigation and to submit a report. The Inspectorate does however impose certain conditions with regard to the quality and thoroughness of the internal investigation.

In exceptional cases, the Inspectorate will conduct its own investigation further to an incoming report. It will do so:

  • in the case of an extremely serious situation with exceptionally high risk;
  • if the Inspectorate believes that its own investigation will improve quality within a particular health care sector in one fell swoop;
  • if the health care provider concerned is not considered capable of conducting a satisfactory internal investigation;
  • if the analysis offered by the health care provider does not meet the required standards;in cases of significant public interest.