Peter Wyman, CQC chairman has stated at an event last week that unannounced inspections of providers are set to increase in frequency. He further stated that inspections which are announced involve quite a large amount of costly planning on the part of the provider and this in turn provides a picture of provider which is distorted and fails to accurately reflect the ‘real’ quality a provider is.
Historically adult social care providers have always been on an unannounced basis; conversely primary and secondary providers of care have always been announced to ensure that key people within an organisation are available. Reflecting the consultation document released late 2016, comprehensive large scale inspections is to be replaced by more regular more focused inspections.
Mr Wyman further expressed his disappointment at the failure of stakeholders within a provider failing to alert CQC of an underperforming institution: –
“One thing that upsets me is when we go to a GP practice, care home, or a hospital and we find it’s inadequate, and then everyone starts to tell us they always knew it was really bad, but no one – whether it’s the commissioner or anyone else – is taking any action…”
Mr Wyman also identified the role that regulators play which some might not attribute with the function of CQC which is to encourage active feedback from stakeholders of a service which will shift demand and force change on a major scale: –
“There’s actually greater choice than people are aware of in primary care and if you can get that awareness then you start to get staff and patients moving to where the great places are. That then puts real pressure on the others to improve, which is another way that regulation is helping to drive up quality.”
“I think regulation will always have a part to play, but I could see it having a lesser part if those we regulate– and the wider system– maintains a shared focus on quality and safety at all times.”