Care Quality Commission
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Planning for winter pressures

Winter is always a challenging time for health and social care. Our recent blog discussed these challenges and our role in encouraging system working and maintaining standards of quality.

Our focus - as ever - is making sure people who use health and social care receive the quality of care they need and deserve.

We want to fulfil our regulatory purpose in a way that supports the health and care system to keep people safe over winter, while continuing to develop our new regulatory approach and plan for its roll out.

Over the coming months we will:

  • support providers to manage the relative risk associated with increased pressures they face over the winter season. Please speak to your local CQC team if there are concerns, challenges or issues that you would like to discuss.
  • focus on risk. We will continue to prioritise our visits to providers across all sectors when we have information that indicates there is a significant risk of poor care or harm to people. This includes areas where we have ongoing concerns, such as maternity services.
  • act on concerns from the public and stakeholders about access to services, including general practice.
  • focus activity to help increase capacity in adult social care. We are engaging with local government to understand local winter plans, priorities and areas of concern, and where we can support.
  • continue to involve providers and the public in developing guidance for our new regulatory approach.
  • start our new regulatory approach with a small number of providers in our South region* before expanding based on a risk-informed schedule.

We know people working in health and care are dedicated to providing the best quality of care possible under difficult circumstances. We want to help organisations and local systems direct efforts where they are needed most to provide safe, joined-up care for people.

It’s as important as ever that we hear the experiences of people using services and those working in health and care. We encourage you to tell us about your experiences using our Give feedback on care service.

*The South region refer to services registered in these counties: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire.

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