CQC’s Chief Executive David Behan has said that he is turning the organisation around by bringing in critics and whistleblowers. He said, “we are at the beginning of a journey to excellence, not the end.”
Earlier this year, the Commons Health Select Committee said that CQC had “a renewed sense of purpose” and this had a shift from the position it had been in previously, “a case study in how not to run a regulator.”
According to CQC the improvements are due to the new strategy to move inspection away from tick-box compliance towards a focus on suspected risk. Last week, inspectors were re-organised into specialist teams and CQC is publishing a series of handbooks for consultation that set out how it proposes to carry out the new-style inspections and to determine ratings for every service from hospitals to care homes and dental practices.
David Behan said, “we’re going to be changing the way we inspect at probably the most challenging time for health and care services in terms of demographics, public expectations and technology – and all of that in a context where money is going to be as tight as it has even been in my career.”
Austerity notwithstanding, CQC will be taking on 500 extra inspectors this year and spending £10m on training and development of its 2000-plus staff, as well as “experts by experience” and others from outside the organisation who now join its expanded inspection teams.