More members of the public will be taking part in CQC inspections of hospitals, care homes, GP practices and other types of services from November this year.
Around 475 people already take part in CQC inspections every month under the Experts by Experience programme, but this is set to rise significantly when new contracts for providing this service are procured. These contracts, worth an estimated £7m per year, represent the largest procurement to date.
Experts by Experience are people who have direct experience of care services that the CQC regulate, or are caring for someone who has experience of using those services. They work with inspection teams, talking to people who are using a service and helping inspectors to assess and rate the quality of care being provided. This helps make better inspection judgements and ratings and to produce better inspection reports. Experts by Experience also co-produce aspects of the CQC strategy, policy and methods, support the recruitment and training of inspections, and participate in other decisions about the work the Care Quality Commission does.
The new contracts will be divided into four regional ‘lots’ allowing consortia of both small and large organisations to join together to bid for the work. Contractors will be expected to meet three main sets of requirements:
- Quality and sustainability of the resource model, including demonstrating the ability to recruit, train, support and manage the performance of people who meet each of the Experts by Experience ‘profiles’ required. See more details of requirements.
- Volume and profile of experts required, including ensuring there are the right profiles of people able to support CQC inspection activity levels by appropriate deadlines
- Resource mobilisation and deployment, including using CQC’s Resource Allocation Tool and evaluating quality
Events are currently being held for interested potential suppliers before the tender goes live in June. All interested bidders must express their interest to participate in the procurement by registering on the registering on the Delta website by 29 May and will then have until mid-July to tender for the work.
CQC’s Director of Engagement, Chris Day, said
“We are committed to involving more members of the public in our inspections, it is one of the most important things that we do. It means that we make better inspection judgements and ratings and that we publish better inspection reports. These are rightly high value contracts and it’s vital that they are awarded to the organisations that can best support our inspection teams, and that small organisations have an opportunity to work together with larger ones to do this. This is one of the most important contracts CQC will procure and we want to get it right.”
Earlier this year the CQC made commitments in its new public engagement strategy to agree new contracts for the provision of Experts by Experience which would make better use of their unique experience and expertise.