CQC launches new complaints partnership with charities
Under a new partnership, charities will work more closely with the CQC to represent the views of people who use health and social services, including those with mental illness and disabilities.
The ‘Tell us about your care’ partnership means that if the charities receive complaints about a service provider, they can pass them on to the CQC.
The six charities that joined the partnership with the inspectorate are the Patients Association, Mind, the National Autistic Society, Disability Rights UK, Carers UK, and the Relatives and Residents Association.
Chris Day, director of engagement at the CQC, argued that the regulator shared “common cause” with the charities in making sure that health and social care was safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said she was delighted at the partnership, adding: “We passionately believe that people should be informed about the national standards of care they are entitled to, and that they feel empowered to ask for these standards of care for themselves or their relatives.”
These standards include involving patients in their care and telling them what’s happening; respect for privacy and dignity; and providing enough staff with the right skills and training.
NHS care has come into fire in the past week, with reports that A&Es are under unprecedented pressure leading the Red Cross to declare a humanitarian crisis.
Evidence also suggests that healthcare is particularly hard for patients with mental illness and learning disabilities. Mentally ill people are more likely to suffer from poor physical health, and the life expectancy for people with learning disabilities is 18 years shorter than the national average for women and 14 years shorter for men.
The partnership also comes as the CQC is seeking to introduce reforms to make its services more effective, including more targeted and unannounced inspections and round-the-clock engagement with the public.
Separately, the regulator confirmed today that it will conduct a national review of child and adolescent mental health services as part of a set of mental health reforms promised by Theresa May.
Its deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, Dr Paul Lelliott, said: “We know from our own inspections of all mental health services in England that there are problems with the quality of care that children and adolescents receive. Through our inspection and ratings, we are holding mental health services to account.
“However, good mental healthcare for young people is about much more than the work of these specialised services. It requires all those responsible for healthcare, social care and education to work together to identify mental health problems early and to provide the support and care that young people need to attain and maintain good mental health.”
The CQC said the review would be published at some point in the 2017-18 period.
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