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All change (again) with CQC regulation

Blog Post 14 November 2017

All change (again) with CQC regulation

News by definition has to be new and it nearly always grabs some journalist’s attention.

From the beginning of this month the Care Quality Commission rang the changes again.

Forgive me for being ever so slightly nonchalant, but there really have been so many changes already. Interesting, isn’t it, that I found not a single news piece on the latest regulatory development.

Does this mean the Commission is no longer newsworthy? Perhaps the media has tired of this very worthy body of reference, or may be the changes announced are perceived boring.

With all of the furore over our Government – top shelf stuff that could shame us as a nation – and the on-going in-party bickering, it is not surprising this latest CQC chapter has not really been aired.

I’d like to believe those who need to know will do, but . . . So briefly this is what CQC are up to – a single assessment framework for adult social care (their words, not mine).

Let me quote: “This will strengthen our assessment by reflecting changes to the sector, the new best practice guidance, and how providers may develop their services in future. It will also simplify the process of assessment by aligning the questions we ask of different sectors and the characteristics that reflect a rating.”

The regulator also promises it will simplify guidance on how it “monitors, inspects and regulates adult social care services” and there is a new– 'Guidance for Providers' area on their website.

This guidance will replace the Provider and Inspector Handbooks, and “will ensure both providers and inspectors use the same guidance documents.”

For those providers who repeatedly fall down on standards there will be the requirement of an action plan show how and by when they will improve their overall rating to good.

There is also speak (their words again) of introducing more proportionate and targeted inspections.

Like all of these things, the devil will be in the detail. These statements as stand alone words are pretty generalized, but I’m expecting some members’ feedback on it all very soon.

Other issues changing include a maximum inspection interval of 30 months for services rated as good and outstanding, but this won’t come in until April next year.

And a change in registration is coming too. For me, this is the one we need to watch carefully.

Quote: “We will make changes to registration that will allow us to hold people to account at the right level when regulating providers.” Isn’t this already in place? There must be something new here. One for our legal people.

Another quote: “By implementing these changes we will make ownership relationships and links between providers clear to the public on our register.”

An finally (for this post, but certainly not the last word on this latest CQC initiative), CQC is changing the way the “triage” information and work with providers following a notification of concern by a third party.

Of course, I’m obliged to add, we continue to work closely with the CQC and will do our best to clarify the grey areas as and when they arise.

News? Well I think so – but the tantalising tales of Parliament are doing the industry no favours in the headline stakes.

Debbie Le Quesne - Ceo West Midlands Care Association