Care Quality Commission consults on new approach to inspecting and rating care services

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Care Quality Commission consults on new approach to inspecting and rating care services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is asking people who use and run health and adult social care services and the public at large for views on the regulator’s plans for inspecting and rating care services.

Over the past year, CQC has been developing a new approach to the way it works. The main elements of the new approach are larger, more specialist and expert inspection teams led by chief inspectors, greater involvement in inspections by members of the public with personal experience of services, better use of information to identify risks and plan inspections, and ratings for all health and adult social care services.

The consultation launched today is on the detailed guidance on how CQC will regulate, inspect and rate NHS acute hospitals, mental health services, community health services, GP practices, out of hours services, care homes; home care services; and hospice services.

CQC is seeking views on a range of issues about the new approach including:

· The proposals for a rating system
· CQC’s view of what a service looks like for any of the rating categories – outstanding, good, requires improvement, inadequate
· The questions inspectors need to ask to determine if a service is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led
· The core services we always look at when we are inspecting
· The methods we use to gather information about services from the public
· The sources of information we draw on to help assess risk and decide when and where to inspect – our ‘Intelligent monitoring’ tool
· The frequency of inspections

Today, CQC is publishing three overview documents introduced by our three Chief Inspectors and separate, detailed draft guidance for seven different types of services:

· Acute hospitals
· Community health services
· Domiciliary care (care in the home)
· NHS GP and Out of Hours services
· Hospice care
· Mental health services
· Residential adult social care (care homes)

CQC Chief Executive David Behan said: ‘Over the past six months we set out proposals for different types of care services and we have been testing our new style inspections in hospitals, mental health and community health services and will be testing them in adult social care services and GP practices from this month.

‘The changes we are making are vital to ensuring that we are able to make sure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and encourage care services to improve. Throughout these changes, we will always be on the side of people who use services and it is important to us that we hear what people think of our plans.’

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said: ‘A new, independent and rigorous inspection regime will give the public vital information on health and social care performance, and the Chief Inspectors will shine a light on areas where improvement is needed. The CQC is seeking views on important elements of their inspection programme and I would encourage patients and all other interested parties to respond. This will help to drive up quality.’

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