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19th April 2013

CQC announces plans for ‘radical changes’

Regulator publishes 3 year strategic plan

Today the CQC published ‘Our strategy for 2013 - 2016’, setting out a three year plan for how the watchdog intends to achieve its raison d’être of regulating the health and social care sector.

The Commission leaves us in no doubt about its intentions. Announcing the news on its website, the opening paragraph to introduce the strategy is:

“We are making radical changes to the way we inspect and regulate services to make sure they provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care, and to encourage them to make improvements.”

During its tenure, Mid-Staffs and other high profile cases of neglect and mistreatment have been exposed. This has attracted much criticism of the CQC, including some from its political ‘masters’. The strategy is a clear attempt by the CQC to respond and re-assert itself. Despite the ‘radical’ approach, the Commission maintains it is putting the interests of service users first.

Tougher approach to regulation

The whole matter of regulation is a hot topic. In recent years the banks; the media; energy and telecoms have all presented deep and significant questions around the subject of regulation and governance. However, in relative terms these are a notch below healthcare; it should be no surprise that health and social care which directly influences life and death adopts a tougher stance to regulation.

Some of the key changes announced include:

  • The appointment of Chief Inspectors for hospitals and social care and support; a Chief Inspector for primary and integrated care is being considered
  • The development of new fundamental standards of care
  • Inspectors are to specialise in particular areas of care and lead teams that include clinical,  whilst others are ‘Experts’ by experience, i.e. people with experience of care
  • The introduction of national teams in NHS hospitals with the specialist expertise to carry out in-depth reviews of hospitals with significant or long-standing problems
  • Listening to people’s experiences of moving between different care services to gain a better understanding of how well different care services work together
  • Improving public information including ratings of services
  • Strengthening the protection of those whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act

The report which is available from the CQC website is quite an interesting read and indicates that we can look forward to a tougher regulatory approach in 2014.

QCS compliance management is ready for CQC’s tough regulation

As registration and inspection get tougher, many will find it more difficult to achieve registration and to stay on top of meeting compliance standards on an ongoing basis.

QCS compliance management is developed and maintained by compliance experts. The system is updated so that it remains in step with changes to legislation. Whatever the CQC require, QCS provide appropriate policies and guide you with easy to follow step-by-step procedures that enable you to achieve compliance.

To see how QCS compliance management lets health and social care providers meet CQC’s requirements, please click here to register for a FREE trial.

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