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19th April 2016

What is in store with CQCs proposed 2016-2021 Strategy? Part 2

Last week I completed (that is probably not entirely true) all of the holes on crazy golf. I have been told that my aim is not bad, but the force I use propels the golf ball – well onto the next hole to be honest.

Slowing down my momentum and using a bit more control would save me some energy, save my husband and children an injury, and very much help me achieve my target.

So that leads me nicely onto the third theme within CQCs consultation strategy!

Theme three: Targeted resource

The CQC will have less resource to undertake its function, whilst striving to do more than before. Using greater focus and energy where risk and poor care are likely, would certainly unburden providers delivering good person centred care if it is not replaced in another way.

For Adult social care there is likelihood of reduced CQC inspection frequency and the reduction of inspection teams overall. Whilst ‘less’ can undoubtedly mean ‘more’, what kind of more are we talking about?

It is proposed the model will be developed to;

  • Gather evidence effectively on services provided in people’s homes;
  • Review the approach to corporate providers – This would undoubtedly take inspection pressure away from services with more of a light shone on where decisions are made;
  • Work with partners to reduce the duplication in data collection.

Time to take a breath!

How great is the risk?

The CQC have a lot riding on their intelligence capacity and capability in adult social care saying, We will seek to establish better intelligence to help spot potential rapid deteriorations in care quality so we can target inspections effectively.’

It isn’t clear yet what further risk triggers for responsive inspection may look like. Could this increase the number of responsive inspections, and will The CQC have the resource to fulfil them?  And how quickly?

How long for a change of rating?

With Adult Social Care already risk weighted for inspection, the question in my mind is how much longer could they eek out the time of inspection for ‘Good’ and Outstanding’? Previous inspectorates have given up to 3 year ‘inspection holidays’ for excellence. I sadly have seen where lack of feet on the ground with buckets full of ‘intelligence’ have led to missing vital signs of slipping care.

Keeping it together

With the likelihood of less inspection, it is important that this is not mistaken for less paperwork. The greater emphasis on intelligence will require providers to be ever more careful in supplying accurate information in painting a picture of the service and the policies and procedures that support it. As CQC work toward others working within an agreed shared framework, organising the information you hold to the 5 questions will ease the day they do knock on the door…or ‘virtually’ do at any rate!

Although the consultation process is now closed, you can read ‘Shaping the Future’ here.

Abi Spence - QCS Registration and Inspection Expert Contributor

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