CQC's new strategy could usher in area-based inspections

25 Jan 16

The Care Quality Commission’s new five-year strategy creates an opportunity to shift the watchdog’s focus from individual organisations and towards health and care services in a local area, the NHS Confederation has said.

The CQC today launched a final consultation on its strategy from 2016 to 2021, which has set out plans to develop methods to assess quality for populations and across local areas. The watchdog said this would enable it to register, monitor, inspect and rate new models of care, including those that span traditional sectors or organisational divides that are being developed as part of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View. This will include a stronger emphasis on whether providers are working well with partners to provide high quality care and include the development of approaches to assess how well services are meeting the needs of particular population groups, such as older people, those people with mental health needs or a learning disability.

Responding to these plans, the NHS Confederation, which represents 85% of NHS providers and commissioners, said such a shift would better reflect the impact that healthcare providers can have on each other and support moves to join up care.

Deputy director of policy Phil McCarvill added that financial changes meant the CQC’s work would increasingly be paid for by healthcare providers which are themselves financially stretched, so existing questions about value for money and reducing bureaucracy become even more pertinent.

“It is vital that the CQC measures what matters – and measures it only once – as it adopts its new role in assessing efficiency in trusts and develops a single shared view of quality,” he added.

Our members want to be closely involved as partners in developing the CQC’s future framework and ways of working – and we look forward to working with the CQC and other national bodies to produce a regulatory framework that’s fit for the future.”

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