Report on 2013 accountability hearing with Care Quality Commission

The Health Select Committee published their report following the Care Quality Commission (CQC)'s 2013 accountability hearing.

The committee suggested that the CQC was in a better position to undertake a programme of substantial reform to develop and improve its regulatory functions.

On publishing the report, Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the Health Select Committee, said: 'The CQC has been a case study in how not to run a regulator, but essential reforms implemented by the new management are turning the CQC around. The CQC has a renewed sense of purpose and now understands that it exists to ensure that care providers meet basic standards and to intervene when they do not.'

The report welcomed the clear articulation of CQC's future objectives and the broad direction of travel.

The committee was pleased that the CQC was, in principle, willing to take on the responsibilities for patient safety which used to reside with the National Patient Safety Agency (now NHS England).

The committee recommended that there were plans to revise the CQC's powers to quickly prosecute directors and corporate bodies, but believed that, in most cases, the ability to cancel a provider's registration would be more impactful.

The committee suggested that the CQC needed to develop more detailed plans for implementing changes to the system of regulating adult social care services and general practice. In particular, it challenged the CQC to develop clear and creative proposals for scrutinising care in the community.

The committee outlined the importance of building confidence in the risk-based regulatory system proposed by the CQC and the development of its surveillance model. It supported the CQC's new approach to inspection (targeted, rather than generic inspection) and felt that the new approach represented a comprehensive improvement.

The committee welcomed the decision to publish ratings for all health and care providers, but noted that CQC needed to act quickly to establish public understanding and confidence in the new system.

The committee made a recommendation that the function of undertaking financial monitoring of adult social care should be removed from the CQC and given to Monitor to retain the existing distinction between CQC as the quality regulator and Monitor as the regulator of financial performance and governance.

Source(s)

House of Commons Health Committee.
2013 accountability hearing with the Care Quality Commission.
HMSO; 2014.