The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued an update on its “complex transformation programme” and evolving inspection strategy.
This outlines the regulator’s work so far in 2023 and sets out what health and care providers and others can expect for the rest of the year, including the new regulatory approach, engaging with providers, reorganising CQC’s operational teams and work on assessing local authorities and integrated care systems.
These changes will:
• Introduce a new regulatory approach for health and care providers, integrated care systems (ICS) and local authorities
• Establish a new Regulatory Leadership team to shape CQC priorities and drive improvement
• Change how CQC’s operational teams are structured to better deliver its regulatory activity
• Deliver a new and improved provider portal
CQC’s strategic ambition is to drive improvements across the health and care system, helping to tackle health inequalities. This has not changed.
CQC had planned to introduce their new regulatory approach this month. However, following a full review of their timeline, this will now happen later in 2023. This is to ensure that improvements can be made as smoothly as possible, as providers continue to experience persistent pressures.
Listening to Feedback
Having listened to feedback, CQC is taking time to work in partnership with their stakeholders and to be clear around what is, and is not, changing. This is so that providers can be clear about their requirements and have time to prepare for changes.
CQC is currently doing more testing of the changes already released and taking feedback into consideration before extending changes to other services to ensure providers will be able to adapt to them smoothly.
They will continue to develop their new approach and, in addition to their regular inspection programme, will prioritise their:
• National programme of inspections in maternity services
• ‘People First’ resource, which aims to help all elements of the urgent and emergency care (UEC) pathway
• Monthly reviews of services
During this period providers will not see any changes to their local relationships with CQC. Over time, providers will engage with their local teams in different ways.
CQC will continue to implement the new approach in phases, ensuring each phase is properly implemented before moving to the next.
From spring they will focus on making sure the technology they require is in place and testing it with providers, and checking that their new regulatory approach is ready to launch.
Because services are under pressure, CQC will minimise the changes they make and focus on mainly internal priorities.
In summer, CQC will launch their new online provider portal in stages and with support and guidance.
Towards the end of 2023, CQC will gradually start to carry out assessments using the new assessment framework.
This will be powered by new integrated assessment teams and supported by new technology.
CQC will provide regular updates and more detail during the year.