CQC’s plans for inspecting substance misuse services

CQC has set out its new approach to inspecting substance misuse services with a focus on the issues that matter to service users accessing substance misuse services.

The way these services are regulated will reflect national policy priorities for substance misuse. In particular it will reflect the key aim of the government’s drug strategy to put people’s recovery at the heart of its approach. This means making sure that people are able to quickly access high-quality services that assess the whole individual. It also means making sure that people’s needs and choices are at the centre of their treatment.

According to CQC, inspections will be carried out by specially trained inspection teams that will often include professional experts such as doctors, psychologists, pharmacists and therapists. They will also include ‘experts by experience’, people with personal experience of using services and will use information from people who use services, their carers and families.

CQC’s plans are set out in the ‘Developing our new approach for specialist substance misuse services’.

The inspection programme will be led by CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, who said: “It is vital when looking at substance misuse services that the views, opinions and experiences of people who use them are listened to and that any judgement that we make about those service reflects what we have heard. I am determined that this experience of care and treatment form a central part of the future inspection of services, which can be so vital to those seeking care and treatment, I will be giving ratings to substance misuse service providers so people can be clear about the quality of services and to help drive improvement.”

CQC will identify a set of services that will be inspected for a substance misuse provider. For the first inspections, these will be:

  • Hospital inpatient-based services
  • Community based services
  • Residential rehabilitation services

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