Care Quality Commission
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Winter pressures in the NHS: our response

Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, made a statement in the House of Commons yesterday (Monday 9 January). He outlined measures in response to the current crisis in the NHS.

To support these measures to increase capacity in both adult social care and the NHS, we will adjust our regulatory activity for the rest of winter.

We want to create more capacity for discharge to adult social care by increasing the number of providers with a good or outstanding rating. We can do this by inspecting providers with a requires improvement or inadequate rating where our evidence shows there has been improvement.

We will continue to respond to the most serious risks in NHS organisations. For GP services, we will only inspect where there is risk of harm to people using services. This means that some previously planned inspections will not now go ahead.

We recognise the pressures facing health and care services. We support providers to use their resources and time in the most productive way for people. However, we must still provide a way to raise serious concerns about the safety of patients. 

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we developed processes to regulate services according to the level of possible risk to patients. This involves looking at evidence from a range of sources when deciding whether to carry out an on-site inspection visit.

Limiting on-site inspections will help front-line staff to focus on care for people using their services. Our proposed actions will enable us to respond to the most serious risks, especially if there is evidence of risk to life.

As with our approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, our colleagues in CQC with NHS experience can volunteer to return to front line services for a limited time to support providers.

Oral statement on new discharge funding and NHS winter pressures

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