CQC asks for views on future of quality regulation

The Care Quality Commission has published a discussion paper that sets out some of the choices it faces in responding to changes to how health and social care is delivered, so that regulation continues to help people receive safe, high-quality and compassionate care.

In ‘Building on Strong Foundations’ (BSF), CQC asks for views on how regulation can develop ahead of the next stage of consultation on its new strategy in January 2016.  

Two years ago, CQC set out its strategy, A Fresh Start, which made fundamental changes to the way it regulates, resulting in more robust ways of inspecting and rating providers.

The CQC says these inspections are helping providers improve the quality of their services, as demonstrated in their ratings and in many coming out of special measures. Also, these inspections are leading to the public having clear judgements on the quality of their local services (through ratings of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate), which are helping them to make informed choices about their care.

With its strategy for the next five years (2016-21), the CQC will develop the way it regulates health and adult social care in England based on what it has learnt from its inspections and as new ‘models of care’ develop, which seek to dissolve the traditional, provider-based boundaries between primary, community, hospital and social care so that they are structured around the needs and experiences of the people who rely on their services.

David Behan, (right) chief executive of the CQC, said: "Our last strategy created a more rigorous inspection approach that gives providers and the people who use services a deeper insight into the quality and safety of care. This is crucial to help people using services make informed choices and so that providers know where they need to improve.

"Our next strategy will set out the case for developing our approach – building on the strong foundations we now have in place.

"Since April, we have engaged over 700 members of staff and stakeholders about the future direction of regulation. We will make our current model more efficient and effective by being more risk-based and proportionate; we will also look at the quality of care in a geographical area and across pathways of care.

"Regulation alone cannot drive improvement but it has a crucial role to play alongside the role of commissioners, providers and professionals. This document sets out our thinking about how working with others we can further contribute to the improvement of the quality and safety of health and care in England."

CQC is encouraging further comments until 22 November, ahead of a consultation on its next strategy in January 2016.

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