14th April 2016

What is in store with CQCs proposed 2016-2021 Strategy? Part 1

I hope your week was good.  It was the Easter Holidays and we made tracks to Devon. Time to reflect on a new topic.

CQC have efficiencies to make as they feel the snip of red tape. I review inspection and registration in their 2016-21 strategy consultation: ‘Shaping the Future’.

Uncertain ground

Before I became too engrossed, I went for a family walk. There was a deal of rain this morning and the sky was watery grey even when it stopped.  We padded down to the beach after a debate on wellies or trainers. I won with wellies. The sand isn’t as firm as it looks after rain, it sinks in places and the sky threatened change again.

I can feel uncertain ground for CQC too. The Chair and Chief Executive pen; ‘we need to build on our current regulatory approach and improve its efficiency and effectiveness. At the same time, we need to adapt to the changes in the health and care sectors we regulate. We have to achieve all of this with fewer resources.’ That feels like lots of plates to spin …especially if resource is removed to spin them.

What does it mean?

Theme 1: Improving our use of data and information

The CQC indicate working towards better use and sharing of information they and their partners hold. This included developing a key data set and gathering more user voice which would help target risk and poor care with a mention of less inspection for some good and outstanding providers hurrah!

A doctor family member always says, ‘look at the patient not just the thermometer’. That is handy advice in my view, and similarly, although a powerful aid, information and data quality can lead to queries for the provider.

Theme 2: Implementing a single shared view of quality

This is interesting, providers could use a shared framework based on the 5 questions to monitor their own performance and share with CQC. Local oversight bodies could also use it. This sounds a lot like the PIR already used in adult social care, hopefully with some tweaks.

This theme to me means self-assessment.....a rose by any other name is still a rose! But an excellent opportunity if your policies and procedures and data sets are already formatted to the 5 questions. QCS policies have a helpful mapping to the KLOEs already. CQC acknowledge in the document no rating would be on provider information alone.

In closing

So far, less resource means less physical presence. Is it more efficient? Or a different set of problems for CQC and providers?

It didn’t rain again, but I squelched a little on the walk home. My wellie heel had begun to let in water as I stood in the shallows...there are some things you just cannot legislate for!

Although the consultation process is now closed, you can read the strategy consultation here. Join me in exploring two more themes in my next blog.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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