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13.06.17

Trusts optimistic about new CQC regime, but regulatory burden still too high

The CQC has this week opened a second set of consultations into new proposals to shape the next phase of health and social care regulation in England.

The regulator has invited anybody with an interest in the way services are regulated to respond to new proposals that have been set out in the consultation document.

These include changes to the frequency and intensity of inspections for primary medical services and adult social care services, as well as improvements to the structure of registration and the CQC’s definition of ‘registered providers’.

Other possible changes include how the CQC monitors, inspects and rates new models of care for large or complex providers, and also an updated approach to the ‘fit and proper persons’ requirement.

“Everyone has the right to experience safe, high quality and compassionate care,” said David Behan, chief executive at CQC. “We are seeking views on how CQC’s regulation will play its part in achieving this.”

“As providers respond to the rapidly changing health and care landscape by exploring new models of care, we are consulting on how we will regulate these to ensure that we encourage improvement, collaboration and innovation while ensuring that people get good, safe care.”

Behan added that the CQC will continue to report on quality in an open and transparent way to help services to improve and also to help people make decisions about their care. “I hope as many people as possible will take the time to read our proposals and tell us what they think,” he concluded.

CQC must work with organisations to align activity

Amber Davenport, head of policy for NHS Providers, described the proposals as a “vital step” to ensuring that the system of regulation for trusts was fit for the future.

“Trusts are positive about the direction of travel set out and the move to a more risk-based and proportionate regulatory model,” she said. “We welcome the steps taken by the CQC to provide clarity about how and when it will begin to implement the changes which will see the next phase of inspections begin in September 2017.”

But Davenport also stated that NHS Providers’ own findings suggest that the level of burden on trusts from regulation was still too high, and that the CQC must work with other organisations to align activity and reduce duplication.

“We therefore urge the CQC to monitor this as it implements the new regulatory regime. We look forward to continuing our work with the CQC on this and facilitating engagement with the provider sector,” she added.

“The new regime must be able to respond to the changing way in which we deliver health and social care. Success will depend on having the right level of training for its inspection teams and the resources in place to deliver the right level of inspection activity as set out in the response.”

The Providers official went on to welcome the second consultation that looks into how the CQC inspects and rates providers who deliver a mix of service.

“The CQC must carefully consider each of the options about how it will approach ratings at provider level in the future,” she concluded. “Lastly we welcome the CQC reviewing its approach to the fit and proper test and would encourage it to seek feedback from providers about how effectively the test has performed to date.”

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