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CQC softens its approach to learning disabled bed registration

Blog post 15 June  2017

The Care Quality Commission has climbed down over a proposal to limit the number of beds for learning disabled.

In line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) policy on autism accommodation, the regulator appeared to want to restrict registration to facilities housing six people or less.

But an amended version of its document ‘Registering the right Support’ was published earlier this week.

The new guidance says that the CQC “will not adopt ‘six’ as a rigid rule” for providers of any service for people with a learning disability and/or autism.

And this is the critical bit . . . Smaller providers, but with more than six people in their care will be considered for registration “where providers are able to demonstrate that they follow all of the principles and values in Building the Right Support guidance, and meet the fundamental standards and other relevant regulations,” it says.

I’m heartened by this amendment as it acknowledges the need for such services and that CQC have taken on board responses to their consultation.

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, has already commented that CQC judgments should be about quality and no size and that’s true.

My concerns principally involve the bed ceiling for such services and whether small model preferences are economically sustainable in the current marketplace.

I’m hopeful that some good will come from this announcement, but before I feel comfortable to pass any more comment, let’s see how it works out in the ‘real world’ of practice.