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New CQC strategy – What does it mean for you?

New CQC strategy – What does it mean for you?

We’ve had a month to consider the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) new strategy, which set out fundamental changes in how the regulatory body for the UK’s health and social care providers will carry out its work over the next five years.

Many details are still not clear and timelines not defined, but the over-whelming response from within the industry has been positive.

Nevertheless, if you are a provider of health or social care services, you may feel unsure about how the changes will impact you, and your service, staff and users.

Here at KCS Compliance Services, we’re experienced in ensuring that our health and social care clients are compliant with CQC requirements and always striving to provide the best service possible for their users.

We’ve put together a list of the key outcomes of the CQC’s new strategy, to help explain how the commission’s relationship with you and your service users is expected to evolve over the next five years.

Better collaboration
The CQC has recognised the need to build a more open and trusting relationship between itself and the UK’s care providers, with a more partnership-based approach where both understand each other better and have opportunities to learn from each other. Communication is seen as key, with the CQC wanting to improve how it explains its decisions and ratings, and act with more consistency.

Smarter regulation
It’s expected there’ll be fewer physical inspections and a smarter approach to regulation, with a focus on carrying out monitoring remotely where possible and using data made available to the CQC more effectively. Inspection visits are likely to be more targeted on those in real need or where risks have been identified.

The CQC’s promise of ‘smarter regulation’ also refers to more dynamic ratings, where a service provider’s CQC rating will be subject to more frequent updates, reflecting how users are experiencing care in as close to real time as possible.

Clearer definitions
Clearer definitions of quality, i.e., what ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ ratings mean, have been promised by the CQC. The CQC is committed to improving the understanding of providers and users as to what good care looks like, and to make that information easier to understand and accessible to all audiences.

Accelerated improvement
The CQC is keen to be more constructive and to identify problems early on, as well as to act faster when problems have been picked-up. Its aim is to provide more tools to help support service providers, like signposting practical advice, and to take quicker action when improvements to safety have taken too long to be corrected. All in all, the CQC promises more targeted and effective working practices, driving improvement where it is needed.

Improved resources to encourage learning
The CQC has prioritised learning and pledged to develop resources and champion innovation and technology to better support service providers and local systems. There’s been talk of improved digital solutions for collecting information from providers, and changes to the way they digitally connect with each other. The CQC recognises the changing environment in which we now live and the diversity in how services operate, and the variety of digital solutions used to manage them. One priority identified by the CQC for the coming year is the development a new provider portal and a more mobile friendly website.

Focus on local
More local understanding has been another area of focus. Assessing local challenges and supporting providers in responding better to the needs of people in their area, especially from the poorer and more deprived regions of the UK, is an aim of the CQC.

Feedback feedback feedback
And lastly, we can expect the CQC to seek more feedback from you, your staff and your users.

It is the CQC’s ambition to make its management and regulation of the care industry more relevant to the way care is delivered today, as well as more flexible and transparent in approach, to enable a quicker response when need is identified.

And the CQC has identified closer collaboration, improved technology, use of innovative analysis, monitoring and artificial intelligence, more dynamic rating of services, and clearer communication with service providers and users alike, as methods to achieve this. We’ll be keeping a close eye out for further announcements so we can keep on top of every development as their strategy unfolds.

We all want to make healthcare safer, and the management of risk and compliance is key to obtaining that.

KCS Compliance Services helps health and social providers to ensure their services are compliant with CQC regulations, and ComplianceManaged®, our cloud-based portal, helps you manage, store and access documentation and evidence day by day.

Contact us at KCS Compliance Services to find out how we can help you.

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