CQC has recently published its annual report for 2014-15 which analyses its achievements over the past year and its goals for the future. In particular, it reports on the implementation of its new inspection model which has been designed and implemented over the past two years.
The report recognises that there have been many changes to the inspection regime and whilst it is too early to fully demonstrate the impact of the changes, it states there has been a real sense of progress. It accepts that CQC has faced challenges during the year in getting the systems and processes in place. For example, changes have been required in response to provider feedback, in particular in relation to the Intelligent Monitoring system adopted for GP’s.
The report confirms that so far under the new inspection model (figures apply up to 31 March 2015) CQC has inspected a total of 7,038 providers/locations, of which 3,180 ratings have been published. It intends to continue to inspect the rest of CQC registered providers over 2015/16 and 2016/17 and expects to have completely inspected all services by the end of September 2016.
Whilst the report outlines the successes of the new inspection regime and details the many changes made it also reflects on areas for improvement in CQC’s systems and processes including:
Building its capacity by recruiting a strong workforce. It has faced significant challenges in recruiting enough new inspectors and analysts with the right skills and has had to reset its expectations of how quickly it can recruit. By the end of December 2015 CQC hopes to have achieved its overall target of 600 new inspectors.
Strengthening the registration process. CQC has introduced more thorough tests for those applying to provide care services from April 2015 onwards.Over the next year CQC will start to roll out online accounts for all providers.
Timeliness of responses to safeguarding information. CQC recognised the key performance indicators in place to monitor the timeliness of responses was not appropriate and not accurately reporting the actions taken by CQC in responding to information of concern. In response CQC has changed its way of reporting safeguarding activity which now includes reporting on the time taken for a variety of different possible actions.
In addition, CQC states that it will be focusing on the following:
Improving the cost, quality and timeliness of inspection and inspection reports;
Improving the management of staff;
Identifying and managing provider risk systematically;
Improving the use of data and evidence across the inspection process;
Reducing reliance on manual processes; and
Embedding quality standards, controls and assurance.
The report also reveals the huge effect that the changes have had on CQC staff as reported through the 2014 staff survey. Results revealed that only 27% of respondents were positive that morale was good in general across CQC (albeit that this was a rise of 4% since 2013). However, 53% of individuals said that their own personal morale was good. This highlights the importance of CQC’s need to meet its recruitment challenges and ensure systems and processes are embedded robustly across the organisation.
Commenting on the report, David Behan, Chief Executive of CQC said “We have radically transformed how we regulate health and adult social care services in England, with rigorous and expert-led inspections and ratings to drive improvement and through increased transparency help people make informed choices about their care. We will always act independently and remain on the side of people who use services, their families and their carers – they are entitled to receive safe, high-quality and compassionate care. I would like to thank our staff and our partners for the immense hard work they have put into the last twelve months and for their commitment in delivering the changes needed.”
You can access the full annual report at the following link: