On 7 January, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a formal consultation on their future strategy. The draft strategy is the product of over 10,000 interactions with stakeholders and sets a bold ambition for CQC over the next five years. This week, the consultation went live to invite feedback on the strategy.
The strategy is built on four themes that together determine the changes that the CQC want to make. Running through each theme is CQC’s ambition to improve people’s care by looking at how well health and care systems are working and how they’re acting to reduce inequalities.
The themes included in the future strategy include:
- People and communities - CQC want their regulation to be driven by people’s experiences and what they expect and need from health and care services. CQC want to focus on what matters to the public, and to local communities, when they access, use, and move between services.
- Smarter regulation - CQC want their assessments to be more flexible and dynamic. They say they will update ratings more often, so everybody has an up to-date view of quality. CQC said being smarter with data means their visits will be more targeted, with a sharper focus on what they need to look at.
- Safety through learning - CQC want all services to have stronger safety cultures. They say they expect learning and improvement to be the primary response to all safety concerns in all types of service. When safety doesn’t improve, and services don’t learn lessons, the CQC said they will take action to protect people.
- Accelerating improvement – CQC said they want to do more to make improvement happen. They will target the priority areas that need support the most and want to see improvement within individual services, and in the way they work together as a system to make sure people get the care they need.
The consultation is now live and will run for eight weeks, closing on 4th March 2021.
A second formal consultation will be launched later this month. In it, the CQC will present proposals to help them in their immediate response to the pandemic, which is said to benefit providers and members of the public. The second consultation will also lay the foundation for delivering the CQC’s next strategy and future regulatory model.
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, in his latest blog, said, ‘The world of health and social care has changed significantly since we were established nearly a decade ago as an independent regulator — not least in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this new world, we must also change. We’re responding to the current situation in three ways: proactively, reactively, and supportively. Our Chief Inspectors recently explained how we’re doing this; you can read more about it on our website.
‘Beyond remaining flexible and responsive to the pandemic, we need to make longer term changes to how we regulate. We want our regulation to be more relevant to the present day and continue to work in a flexible way to manage risk and uncertainty. We’ve learned a lot from our response to the pandemic so far, and we’re using this to put us in a better place for the future and support services to keep people safe.
‘This consultation is running against a backdrop of worsening pressures relating to COVID-19 and a further national lockdown. The ambitions in the strategy support our response to the pandemic. They help to give us the flexibility to respond to an ever-changing environment; to promote change and improvement; and to respond to concerns raised by people using and working in services to make sure they are as safe as they can be.’
The CQC would like to hear what you think to their proposals so they can make sure it works for everyone. You can do this by either submitting a consultation response or adding a response on their digital participation platform CitizenLab.
Visit the CQC website to read the consultation document.