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King’s Fund report finds regulator requires improvement

September 28, 2018

An evaluation of the Care Quality Commission’s approach to inspection and ratings has found that, while it is a significant improvement on the system it replaced, it could be made more effective.

The research, carried out by The King’s Fund and Alliance Manchester Business School between 2015 and 2018, examined how regulation was working in four sectors – acute hospitals, mental health, general practice and social care – in six areas of England.

The report highlights a number of areas for improvement in CQC’s approach to regulation. It cautions that the focus on inspection and rating may have crowded out other activity which might have more impact. It recommends that CQC focus less on large, intensive but infrequent inspections and more on regular, less formal contact with providers, helping to drive improvement before, during and after inspections.

“We found that CQC’s approach works in different ways in different parts of the health and care system,” said Ruth Robertson, report author and Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund.

“When CQC identifies a problem in a large hospital there is a team of people who can help the organisation respond, but for a small GP surgery or care home the situation is very different. We recommend that CQC develops its approach in different ways in different parts of the health system with a focus on how it can have the biggest impact on quality.”

  • A copy of the report and report summary is available to download at: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/impact-cqc-provider-performance

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