The CQC has begun its first inspections of private hospitals, with two underway and a further six due for inspection this year.
Inspectors will spend two days at the Spire Southampton Hospital in Hampshire looking at core services, including surgery, medical care, critical care, children and young people's care, and outpatients and diagnostics.
A one day inspection will be conducted at the London Welbeck Hospital looking at the surgical and outpatient services it provides.
Six further independent hospitals are to be inspected by December 2014:
• Baddow Hospital, Essex
• BMI Mount Alvernia, Surrey
• The Lister Hospital, London
• Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, County Durham
• Oaklands Hospital, Salford
• Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, Devon
Services for NHS funded patients, self-paying patients and insurance funded patients will be inspected. From April 2015 independent healthcare providers will be awarded ratings on care.
The CQC asks five questions during inspections, is the service: safe; caring; effective; well-led; responsive to people's needs?
The CQC said it had chosen the eight hospitals because: "they vary in size and services offered, they are a mix of low and high risk based on previous inspections and some hospitals that are owned by a corporate company and some which are stand alone."
Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said: "The first inspections at Spire Southampton and the London Welbeck Hospitals are the starting point for CQC to hold the independent sector to the same standards as the NHS.
"As we have seen in the NHS, these new-style inspections will allow us to get under the skin of the organisation to give us a much more detailed picture of independent hospital care in England than ever before.
"We are significantly increasing public access to information on independent healthcare, which is good news for people who use services, as it will help people to make informed decisions about their care."
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