The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. They make sure health and social care services provide patients with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care by monitoring, inspecting and regulating services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety.
In March The Patients Association asked for your views on the proposed CQC strategy using these views we responded to the CQC’s strategy
. This week the CQC released their Five year Strategy setting out their ambitions and priorities for the next five years
guiding how it evolves in response to the changes providers are making in their organisation and delivery of care. It seeks to provide a more targeted, responsive and collaborative approach to regulation, ensuring more people receive high-quality care.
To deliver these ambitions, it focuses on four priorities. Encouraging improvement, innovation and sustainability in care means that the CQC will be working with others to support improvement and adapting its approach as new care models develop, as well as publishing new ratings of NHS foundation trusts and their use of resources. The CQC will also focus on delivering an intelligence-drive
approach to regulation. This will use information from the public and providers more effectively to target where the risk to the quality of care provided is greatest, and to monitor where quality is improving. The CQC will promote a single shared view of quality by working with others to agree a consistent approach to defining and measuring quality, collecting information from providers and delivering a single vision of high quality care.
The Patients Association believes that the vision cannot be delivered by the CQC alone, and requires the involvement of all stakeholders to create and nurture a culture of transparency and learning that is beneficial to patients. The CQC aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness by working more resourcefully, achieving savings each year and improving ways of working with the public and providers.
The main changes for the CQC will include putting more resources into assessing services with poor ratings and ensuring better monitoring of changes in quality through collaboration of information with users of the services, inspection and data from partners. Further to this, there will be more unannounced inspections targeted on areas where risk is greatest or quality is improving, following this these ratings will be updated where changes are found to better inform the public. Online processes will be introduced as the default so interactions between the CQC, providers and the public are more efficient and improve transparency. Shared data sets amongst partners, other regulators and commissioners will again add to the ease and efficiency of the process, reducing duplicative information requests.
For patients this means that there is more information and transparency about the quality of services as well as improved access and availability following inspections. Patients’ information will be used more efficiently to inform solutions to problems found within trusts, thus helping to prevent further poor care and abuses in the future. This forms a part of the improved customer service and communication that patients will benefit from.
The CQC’s NHS Patient Survey Programme consultation covers proposed changes to the survey programme that will enable patients to have a real say about the quality of NHS services they have experienced. View the consultation here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/nhs-patient-survey-programme