The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is seeking views on its plans for the next five years as it develops its approach to regulation.
CQC has changed the way it works over the past three years and in its consultation document Shaping the future, published today, it sets out a vision for the future regulation of health and social care.
The way health and social care is delivered has changed and is continuing to change, with increasing numbers of acute NHS trusts providing social care, more GP federations, and technology playing a greater role in the way services are delivered – coupled with the demographic challenge of increasing numbers of older people with needs that will be met by more than one service. In this consultation document, CQC sets out proposals that respond to these new ways of working.
A key element of these proposals is an approach called ‘implementing a single shared view of quality’, which builds on a single framework for measuring quality. This framework can be used to help providers better understand their quality of care and to share this information with CQC -information that can then be checked against what is already known about the provider, including information from inspection. The transparency that CQC’s judgements bring to quality would be even greater if the whole system looked at quality in the same way.
CQC is also asking for views on its proposed approach to using data, which will support a risk-based approach to regulation. In turn, this will support a more targeted and tailored inspection programme that allows CQC to inspect services rated good and outstanding less frequently and to lend greater support to those performing less well.
CQC’s chief executive, David Behan, said:
‘We’ve radically changed the way we regulate over the last three years – these changes are driving improvement in the quality and safety of care, highlighting good and outstanding care and protecting people from poor care.
‘Now we need to further develop our approach, adapting to changes in the way health and care services will be provided in the future, while improving our efficiency and effectiveness. This document sets out proposals on how we support the challenges of the Five Year Forward View, the changing nature of services and the emergence of new models of care. The landscape is changing – and we can’t stand still.
‘During this period of development and change in health and social care, we’re determined to develop and deliver an ambitious vision – one that will ensure that the people who use services, the organisations that provide care and the wider public benefit from effective and efficient regulation, which encourages high quality care.’
Shaping the future is the third in a series of documents in which CQC has asked the public, providers, professionals and stakeholders for help in developing its strategy for the next five years. In particular, responses to the discussion paper Building on Strong Foundations, which was published in October, have helped to shape and refine the ideas presented in today’s consultation document.
The key themes of the consultation are:
- Strengthening CQC’s use of data and information – CQC’s aspiration to develop even better insights into quality of care, particularly through the use of new technologies and involving more members of the public in its work than ever before.
- Implementing a single view of quality – a single shared system of measurement that supports providers to easily monitor their own quality and share information about their performance.
- Developing methods to assess quality for populations across local areas – looking at how care is coordinated to better meet people’s needs.
- Targeting and tailoring inspection activity – focusing on providers who are performing less well to encourage improvement.
- Developing a more flexible approach to registration – with greater focus on high risk providers and innovative approaches for new models of care.
- Assessing how well hospitals use resources – ensuring services are increasingly sustainable and efficient – as recommended by the Secretary of State last July.
- Moving towards a risk-based model to protect people from poor care
Feedback from the consultation paper published last October indicated broad support for CQC’s regulatory approach. Respondents said CQC should focus on areas such as working better with its partners and ensuring it stays on the side of the public and people who use services.
The consultation is open until 14 March. CQC will formally respond to the feedback provided when it publishes its strategy in May this year.
A link to the consultation document Shaping the future can be found here.