Despite the National Audit Office (NAO) finding that the CQC has improved as an organisation and now provides better value for money, they say it still needs to overcome some ongoing issues with the timelines of some of its regulation activities. The report says that while most healthcare providers and inspectors think the CQC’s judgments are fair, many have concerns about consistency.
An overview of the NAO’s conclusions:
- the CQC does not meet its timeliness targets for some of its regulation activities, such as registration and publication of inspection reports
- while most providers and inspectors think the CQC’s judgements are fair, there are concerns about consistency. The CQC is seeking to address consistency issues through its quality assurance processes and training
- the CQC is taking more enforcement action when care falls below fundamental standards
- the number of completed enforcement actions increased over 2015/16 and 2016/17, while the number of providers entering special measures remained steady
- the CQC made progress in implementing its new strategy during 2016/17, although it missed early milestones on rolling out use of resources assessments and designing its approach to the next phase of inspection
The NAO says CQC must carefully manage their aim to base more of its regulatory activities on intelligence and risk-based information, as it can introduce significant challenges.