A new agreement to help drive improvements to patient care has been formalised between the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the General Medical Council (GMC), the regulator for doctors.
Although the two regulators have different responsibilities, they have a shared goal – to ensure patients receive the best possible care and are protected from harm.
The joint operating protocol (JOP) makes it official that relevant information will be shared between the two organisations.
Any information given by GMC will support CQC in preparing for its inspections of hospitals and general practices. CQC will alert GMC to anything non-routine such as information about a potentially serious emerging or urgent concern.
Ted Baker, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:
“This is one of a number of agreements we have with a wide number organisations. While each relationship is different, they are all aimed at ensuring health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, and high quality care.
“Making these relationships work is therefore critical for CQC to fulfil our regulatory role and for us to play our part in supporting the improvement of care.”
Anthony Omo, Director of Fitness to Practise at the GMC, said:
“By sharing information – especially concerns about patient safety – we can both build a bigger and sharper picture of what is happening inside organisations. That means we can target our action more effectively where there are problems.
“Ultimately that means we can be more effective in the improvements that we drive in medical practice and the care that patients receive.”
The current JOP was published in July 2013. CQC regularly reviews agreements with partner organisations to make sure they are always relevant, up to date and effective.