CQC consults on new approach to inspecting and rating care services

The Care Quality Commission is asking people who use and run health and adult social care services and the public at large for views on its plans for inspecting and rating care services.

Over the past year, CQC has been developing a new approach to the way it works. The main elements are larger, more specialist and expert inspection teams led by chief inspectors; greater involvement in inspections by members of the public with personal experience of services; better use of information to identify risks and plan inspections; and ratings for all health and adult social care services.

The consultation is on the detailed guidance on how CQC will regulate, inspect and rate care homes, home care services and hospice services.   

CQC is seeking views on issues including:

  • Proposals for a rating system
  • CQC’s view of what a service looks like for any of the rating categories – outstanding, good,  requires improvement, inadequate
  • Questions inspectors need to ask to determine if a service is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led
  • Core services to consider when inspecting
  • Methods used to gather information from the public
  • Sources of information to help assess risk and decide when and where to inspect
  • Frequency of inspections

CQC chief executive David Behan said: “The changes we are making are vital to ensuring that we are able to make sure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and encourage care services to improve. Throughout these changes, we will always be on the side of people who use services and it is important to us that we hear what people think of our plans.”

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said: “A new, independent and rigorous inspection regime will give the public vital information on health and social care performance, and the chief inspectors will shine a light on areas where improvement is needed. The CQC is seeking views on important elements of their inspection programme and I would encourage patients and all other interested parties to respond. This will help to drive up quality.’

The consultation runs until 4 June. CQC will introduce changes in all services from October when the regulations underpinning them come into effect.

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