Care Quality Commission
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Care Quality Commission response to the government's health white paper
CQC said the white paper confirmed its continued role as the quality regulator for health and adult social care. Under the proposals, the current risk-based regulatory regime will remain largely unchanged.
However, the white paper does set out a number of important changes for CQC.
•HealthWatch England will be established as a new independent consumer champion within CQC
•Providers will have a joint licence overseen by both Monitor and CQC
•The NHS Board will take over assesssment of commissioning
In relation to 'HealthWatch', Ms Bower said: "Anything that gives people more say in how care services are monitored is a good thing. We already work closely with local groups and this will formalise and strengthen that collaboration. There is enormous potential here to share information and get local people even more involved in inspections and assessments. But we want to be clear that HealthWatch should be a separate arm of the regulator. It must be close enough to CQC to influence regulation and share information, but retain enough independence to be a strong voice, constantly challenging on behalf of local people."
Ms Bower added that CQC would begin discussions with Monitor over the joint licensing system. Ms Bower said: "This year we introduced a tough new licensing system for essential standards of quality and safety. We look forward to working with Monitor to develop a joint licensing regime."
In relation to assessment of commissioning, Ms Bower said: "It's right for the responsibility of assessing commissioning to sit elsewhere, however no doubt we will still contribute a lot of important information. CQC's role is now clearly focussed on getting standards of quality and safety in place across the whole sector."