CQC Consultation on Inspecting and Rating Services

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

This week CQC launched a consultation on how they will regulate, inspect and rate NHS acute hospitals, mental health services, community health services, GP practices, out of hours services, care homes, home care services and hospice services.

CQC are seeking the views of people who run health and adult social care services and the public at large for views on their new plans for inspecting and rating care services.

The main elements of the new approach are larger, more specialist and expert inspection teams led by chief inspectors, greater involvement in inspections by members of the public with personal experience of services, better use of information to identify risks and plan inspections and ratings for all health and adult social care services.

CQC is seeking views on a range of issues about the new approach including:

  • The proposals for a rating system.
  • CQC’s view of what a service looks like for any of the rating categories – outstanding, good, requires improvement, inadequate.
  • The questions inspectors need to ask to determine if a service is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.
  • The core services CQC look at when we are inspecting.
  • The methods CQC uses to gather information about services from the public.
  • The sources of information CQC draw on to help assess risk and decide when and where to inspect – the ‘Intelligent monitoring’ tool.
  • The frequency of inspections.

CQC Chief Executive David Behan said, “over the past six months we set out proposals for different types of care services and we have been testing our new style inspections in hospitals, mental health and community health services and will be testing them in adult social care services and GP practices from this month. The changes we are making are vital to ensuring that we are able to make sure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and encourage care services to improve. Throughout these changes, we will always be on the side of people who use services and it is important to us that we hear what people think of our plans.”

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said, “a new independent and rigorous inspection regime will give the public vital information on health and social care performance, and the Chief Inspectors will shine a light on areas where improvement is needed. The CQC is seeking views on important elements of their inspection programme and I would encourage patients and all other interested parties to respond. This will help to drive up quality.”

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