Care Quality Commission
What we are doing when
Our strategy, launched in 2021, sets out our ambitions to reduce health inequalities and to drive improvements for people who use services. We’re changing the way we work to put us in a strong position to deliver on those ambitions and make us more relevant to the way that care is developed.
We will not release everything at once. We want to learn as we go, starting small and rolling out the changes in stages – working in partnership with our stakeholders. We’ll be clear at every step about what it means for people through clear guidance and support, using the voices of those involved to tell the story to help build confidence around what we’re doing.
From the start of August 2022
We will start to roll out new elements of our approach in a phased way. We will work with small groups of CQC colleagues and providers, who we are calling ‘early adopters’. They will be vital in helping us refine how things work. We will give early adopters dedicated support during this stage of the process and they will have access to guidance on our new approach.
Initial early adopters will include a small number of prospective home care providers who are registering with us for the first time. We will direct them to our new portal and they will use our new online registration process. We will use our new single assessment framework to consider their application.
Alongside home care providers, we have invited a small number of hospice providers to also become early adopters. These hospices will be able to submit death notifications (SN16) with us through the new portal. We have designed the new portal in a way that this should be simple and intuitive for them. We will be able to collect the data in a structured format that will make it easier and quicker to analyse.
During this period, all other providers will continue to follow existing ways of working. We will be able to share how the early adopters are doing and the benefits that are being realised from our new approach.
We will expand our early adopter group to include a small number of GP practices, independent providers and care homes.
We will continue to build the features available to these five service types. Features we are looking to include are notifications for Mental Health Act (SN17) and police, abuse and serious injury (SN18). Early adopter providers will also be able to make changes to their registration details with us. Examples we are looking to develop include:
- add and remove a partner
- advise us of a cancellation
- update their statement of purpose
- add or remove a location.
This range of early adopters and processes will provide enough cases to test how well the features in our provider portal work and how easy it is to use. For example, home care providers are the group that register with us in the greatest number, and GP practices are most likely to add and remove partners. This will allow us to make sure the features work well. We will add further provider types to the early adopter process in September with the aim of the new portal being available for all sectors by the end of the calendar year.
It is vital for the success of our new approach that every provider uses our new portal. This will make our interactions simpler for us and for providers. It will save time and ensure that the information we receive from them is in a format that can be analysed and responded to in a consistent and timely manner. We will launch a communications campaign when the provider portal is available for all, highlighting the benefits of its use and how to sign up.
Alongside the work to open up our new provider portal to all providers, we will start carrying out assessments using our new approach with an early adopter group from October. As part of this, we’ll work in teams that combine the expertise and experience of colleagues across all the sectors we regulate. This will give us the best view across a local area.
We are updating our assessment process to ensure we become a smarter regulator. This means more dynamic and flexible regulation that provides up-to-date and high quality information and ratings, easier ways of working with us and a more proportionate response. We will not rely on set piece inspections, scheduled based on a providers’ previous rating. Instead this will be a continuous assessment process where we will be driven by the evidence we receive and collect proactively. This way of working will help us achieve our key strategic aim of providing an up-to-date view of quality.
Importantly during this period, the way we undertake our core regulatory activity will be the same for all other services. This early adopter phase starts to test our new ways of working in a real life environment with a small group so that we can ensure everything is working well before rolling out to all providers,
From January our aim is to start the full roll-out of our new way of regulating. This means that all providers:
- will start to be regulated against the new single assessment framework
- have relationships with the CQC team in their area
- will be using the new provider portal.
This is the continuation of an exciting journey as we enter a vital phase of our transformation. It also means we will have in place the foundations to start looking at how we develop and implement our approach at a system level, with local authorities and integrated care systems.
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