Care Quality Commission
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Bigger, more expert inspection teams and performance ratings by Chief Inspectors

Care Quality Commission publishes its plans for the next three years.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced it will be introducing bigger, more expert inspection teams that will spend longer in hospitals talking to people. These will be led by a Chief Inspector who will also oversee performance ratings.

In launching its plans for the next three years, the CQC has emphasised that its role is to be firmly on the side of patients and people who use services.

It has also promised to publish better information for the public, helping them to easily find and understand its reports on care services – this will include ratings of services.

The Commission will change the way it inspects to make sure it looks at the things that are most important to people: are services safe, effective, caring and well led, and do they respond to people’s needs?

The plans also include using information and evidence more effectively to predict, identify and respond to services that are failing. This includes listening better to people’s views and experience of care and to care staff to hear about their concerns.

It will introduce a programme for failing trusts that makes sure immediate action is taken to protect people and deal with the failure.

There will also be a more thorough test for organisations applying to provide care services, making sure that named directors, managers, and leaders of a service commit to meeting CQC’s standards and are tested on their ability to do so.

CQC Chair David Prior said: “This is an important moment for CQC. We have recognised we need to change and are determined to do so swiftly. We will work with those we regulate and our own staff to develop a better system of regulation and to build a high-performing organisation that is well run, has an open culture that supports its staff, and is focused on people.”

CQC Chief Executive David Behan said; “People have a right to expect safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care. CQC plays a vital role in making sure that care services meet those expectations.

“We recognise that quality care cannot be achieved by inspection and regulation alone – that lies with care professionals, clinical staff, providers and those who arrange and fund local services – but we will set a bar below which no provider must fall and a rating which will encourage and drive improvement.

“In developing our plans for the next three years we have looked closely at what we do and listened to what others have told us, to make sure we focus on what matters to them. The plans also take account of Robert Francis’s report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the response by the Secretary of State for Health.”

Notes to editors

The full strategy can be found in Our strategy and business plan.

The strategy for 2013-2016 highlights the six areas the CQC will focus its work on for the next three years.

1) Better use of information and inspection

This is about how we will use information and evidence to help us identify failing services and target inspection. It also looks at how we’ll change the way we inspect to make sure we look at the things that are most important to people. Our inspection and regulation of care services will ask the following questions about services.

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they well led?
  • Do they respond to people’s needs?

2 Working better with our partners in the health and social care system

Nationally and locally we will aim to work seamlessly with other regulators and organisations that manage and oversee the health and social care system to identify and act on issues that the public have identified as concerns.  We will also work with our national partners to give the public and others a single, clearer picture of how NHS hospitals are performing on things that matter to people. This will include a rating given by our Chief Inspector of Hospitals

3) Building better relationships with the public

We will promote greater public understanding and awareness of our work, improve our public information, improve how we listen to and act on people’s views and experiences of care, and involve more people in our work.

4) Building relationships with those we regulate

We will expect to have an intelligent, mature relationship with care providers based on trust, openness and mutual respect. Our approach will depend on their past performance and we will be less involved with those services that have consistently delivered good-quality care. 

5) Strengthening how we deliver our responsibilities in terms of mental health and mental capacity

We will strengthen our focus around the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to protect the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people in society, particularly those who have had their freedom restricted by being detained and treated against their will.  We are committed to strengthening the protection of people with learning disabilities, whether or not they are detained.

6) Building a high-performing organisation

We will continue to build a high-performing organisation that is well run, has an open culture that supports its staff, and is focused on its customers. We will strengthen the membership of our board and include a number of new non-executive directors and executive directors. We will make sure we hold the Executive Team to account more effectively.  We will deliver a leadership development programme through our new training academy that will make sure our leadership can lead our workforce

For media enquiries call the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143. For general enquiries call 03000 616161.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.