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NHS Confederation and Mental Health Network comment on CQC strategy for 2013-16

Mike Farrar says the NHS needs effective and intelligent regulation, now more than ever.
Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

"The NHS needs effective and intelligent regulation, now more than ever as the health care system becomes more fragmented and the public look for assurances about their local services in the wake of the Francis report into the failings at Stafford Hospital. We want and need the CQC to be a success; it is incredibly important it carries the confidence of the public and the organisations it oversees.

"It is clear the CQC is working hard to regain the confidence of the NHS and the public. This strategy shows a strong commitment to developing a system that is responsive, specialist in its sector and provides people with the information they need about the services they use. The CQC can enhance this by doing more to help promote good practice and encourage organisations to do more to learn from each other.

"We need informed, and appropriate inspection, not necessarily more inspection. The CQC's move to re-establish inspection teams with specialist expertise will go a long way to re-instil confidence in its abilities."

Mr Farrar added:

“Healthcare is, by its nature, risky. However good a regulatory system, it cannot guarantee safety and we should never depend on it to do so. We need it to help minimise and manage risks.

"It is the responsibility of every local NHS organisation and its staff to ensure it is providing people with the highest standards of care and protecting them from harm. If we don't have confidence in NHS leaders to do that, then no amount of regulation will solve our problems." 

Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network said:

"We want to congratulate the CQC for producing a bold, even-handed and very clear statement on their direction of travel. We particularly welcome the involvement of service users as 'experts by experience' and senior clinical personnel and other leaders from provider organisations in the regulatory process.

"Whilst recognising the need for CQC to remain independent, the era of stand off that had developed between NHS providers and CQC in some places needs to be put behind us and the shared ambition of striving for best quality and promoting best practice can be a shared ambition to deliver a better NHS."

Notes to Editors

The NHS Confederation represents all organisations that commission and provide NHS services. It is the only membership body to bring together and speak on behalf of the whole of the NHS. We help the NHS to guarantee high standards of care for patients and best value for taxpayers by representing our members and working together with our health and social care partners.

The Mental Health Network represents the majority of mental health trusts. It was launched in spring 2007 to provide a distinct voice for providers of NHS mental health services. The Network is part of the NHS Confederation.

We make sense of the whole health system, influence health policy and deliver industry-wide support functions for the NHS.

Follow the NHS Confederation press office on Twitter @NHSConfed_Press

 A full list of NHS Confederation press releases and statements can be accessed on our media page


Francesca Reville
020 7799 8633

Georgie Agass
020 7799 8637