CQC has recently reviewed its contracts for the providers of Experts by Experience and from 1 February 2016 Remploy Limited will begin to provide Experts by Experience in the South, North and London regions. As a result of the change in contract and following a review by Remploy, Expert by Experiences’ pay is set to be halved on 1 February 2016 from £17 an hour to £8.25 an hour (£9.40 in London). The contract for the Central region was awarded to the charity Choice Support and the rate is expected to have reduced marginally for the upcoming year but the rate is yet to be officially confirmed.
CQC uses Experts by Experience as a key part of its inspection procedure to engage with service users and support the inspector’s judgement on a service. At present CQC states that it uses around 300 Experts by Experience every month and there are plans to expand the programme to use more than 1000 Experts by Experience in some months. The implications of the halving of salaries of some of the Experts by Experience may lead to a shortage of staff available to help carry out inspections. Safeguards should have been put in place by CQC to ensure that such a vital part of its inspection process could not be potentially undermined in this manner.
Chris Day, CQC’s director of engagement said:-
“Experts by Experience are vital to CQC’s inspections and many other parts of its work. The cost of contracts with our new suppliers, Choice Support and Remploy Ltd, is £7 million per year and demonstrates our increased strategic and financial commitment to this programme of work”.