On 28 June 2012 CQC published information on its website for the first time covering its performance against the targets it has set in its business plan in relation to registration, monitoring compliance and the types of enforcement action it has been taking over April and May 2012.
New Registration Applications
CQC’s aim is to complete 90% of new provider and manager registration applications within eight weeks. Currently CQC is registering 87% within this time period, registering a total of 2,703 providers so far in April and May 2012.
Application to Change a Registration
CQC’s aim is to complete 90% of applications to change registration within four weeks. CQC is currently completing 70% within this time and are behind their target.
CQC aims to have inspected 100% of services inspected annually by the end of the year. They are on track with inspecting at least one service per trust at NHS hospitals; however they are behind in relation to the other services, including adult social care services (where only 10% have been inspected so far). CQC state it is putting actions in place to improve this.
Publication of Inspection Reports
CQC’s aim is to publish 90% of final inspection reports within 25 working days of the date of inspection. On average, 80% have been published within the target set.
It should be noted that CQC has made significant progress in reducing the number of days taken to publish inspection reports given that previously it was as high as 70 working days.
The main actions that CQC takes in relation to enforcement include issuing warning notices, cancelling registration and suspending, varying or imposing conditions on registration.
CQC aims to issue 90% of warning notices within 14 days of identifying when one is required. Over April and May, 107 warning notices were issued with 83% of these being issued within 14 days.
Cancellation of Registration
Since April 2012, CQC has not used its powers afforded by Section 30 of the HSCA 2008 to cancel registration using urgent procedures.
Suspensions and Conditions
CQC has used its enforcement powers to urgently suspend, vary or impose conditions on registration on only two occasions between April and May 2012.
These enforcement figures demonstrate that currently CQC is focusing on issuing of warning notices as its primary enforcement mechanism.
From June 2011, CQC started to publish summaries of warning notices at which point CQC introduced a written representations process. Further to a Freedom of Information request, CQC has informed us that over the period 1 June 2011 and 13 June 2012, CQC received 163 representations on warning notices of which 18 were upheld (meaning that the summary of the warning notice was not published). This indicates that in almost 90% of cases where representations are received, CQC is issuing summaries of warning notices to the public by way of press releases. Given the significant numbers of warning notices being issued, this means that large numbers of press releases are being issued to regional and national media outlets. Publication can have a significant adverse impact on the reputation of a provider. Careful consideration needs to be given by providers faced with publication of a press release on a warning notice about how to prepare compelling representations to persuade CQC not to publish. Legal advice should be sought given the complex issues that are often involved around the adequacy of the CQC investigation and the legality of its decision making processes surrounding warning notices. We would be happy to discuss any concerns you may have further to receiving one or more warning notices.