Health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has launched a consultation on its strategy for the next 3 years (7th September 2012).

 

The consultation paper asks for people’s views on 7 specific questions about the CQC’s proposed approach. These cover how the CQC regulates services, how it manages its independence, its relationship with the public and with organisations that provide care, its role in the complaints system, its responsibilities in relation to mental health services and on how it can measure its own impact.

 

CQC’s new chief executive, David Behan, said: ‘‘For CQC, being successful means that more health and care services meet quality and safety standards – and improve quickly if they don’t.

 

“I want people to know that together with Healthwatch as the consumer champion we will listen to them and use their experiences to help inform the judgements we make about services.

 

“And I want to ensure providers of services understand what good looks like and what is unacceptable so they can improve the services they provide.

 

“CQC is now in its fourth year. As we enter the next stage of our development I am clear that our role is to check that health and care services meet national standards and in that way drive improvements in the quality and safety of services.

 

“Perhaps the most significant of our proposed changes is that we’ll tailor the way we regulate different types of organisations based on what has the most impact on driving improvement. We will put people’s views at the centre of what we do.

 

“We also recognise we need to work more effectively with others. We have a common goal with other organisations to improve the quality of health and care services. By sharing information and acting together we will be more effective in driving improvement.”

 

The consultation also says that over next 3 years CQC will improve the way it uses information to help it spot and address poor care faster. It will highlight what works well so the people who run health and care services can improve the quality of the care they provide. And it will make it easier for people to access and understand its information.

 

At the same time, it will continue to carry out thousands of regular unannounced inspections and highlight and take action when there are concerns about poor standards of care.

 

CQC chair, Dame Jo Williams, said: “A clearer strategy for CQC will make a vital contribution to improving the care that people have a right to expect. It will enable us to focus our action where there is greatest risk, to become an authority on the state of care, tackle poor standards, work with others to drive improvements in the quality of health and adult social care more decisively than ever. It gives us a real opportunity to make a difference and we are determined to do so.

 

“We talked to hundreds of people in preparing these plans and we’re hoping hundreds more will share their views with us.”

 

The consultation runs until December 6. Full details of the proposals and how to respond are on CQC’s web site at www.cqc.org.uk/thenextphase