CQC Publishes Local Health Inequality Report

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) have published findings from their research into how GP practices use innovative methods to address local health inequalities. The work will inform CQC’s developing regulatory approach so that it can better recognise and encourage innovation.

This project has been made possible by a grant from the £3.7 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The fund enables UK regulators and local authorities to help create a UK regulatory environment that unleashes innovation and makes the UK the best place to start and grow a business.

To get a broad range of input, CQC and Yorkshire & Humber AHSN conducted a literature review, direct engagement with GPs and their practice teams, roundtable discussions with external stakeholders, and spoke with people who use services and carers.

Tackling inequalities in health and care is central to CQC’s new strategy, along with understanding how providers in local systems are working together to improving outcomes for everyone in their area.

As well as taking what has been learned from this project into its developing regulatory approach, CQC will be publishing an online resource later this year to help GP providers demonstrate their innovation to the regulator.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care at the Care Quality Commission, said: “GPs and practice teams up and down the country have unique and invaluable insight into the needs of the people in their community. As a regulator, it is vital that we do everything we can to recognise the way they use this understanding to develop new and innovative ways of working that deliver good, person-centred care. Thanks to everyone who took part, this project will help to shape the future of regulation and the role it can play in supporting and recognising innovation.”

Richard Stubbs, CEO of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN commented: “This project is a welcome and useful step towards the goal of addressing health inequalities and improving access to services for all. An environment that champions innovation and encourages new ways of working is fundamental if we want to empower healthcare professionals to find effective solutions to tackle those challenges. Primary care plays a key role in identifying and responding to the specific needs of their local communities and I’m really pleased to see projects like this being introduced across our system.”

Business Minister Lord Callanan said: “Good regulation should spur innovation, not stand in its way, and this project could help pave the way for benefits to practices and service users alike.”