The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has overcome a “lack of clarity and direction” and is now better able to protect the public, the Health Committee has claimed.
According to Health Committee Chair Stephen Dorrell, the CQC had previously been a “case study in how not to run a regulator,” but reforms implemented by the new management have led to improvements.
In 2013, the CQC introduced risk-based regulation, as well as a system which will give providers OFSTED-style ratings ranging from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’.
The CQC is also introducing an new surveillance system which includes a large range of indicators related to quality of care. The CQC refer to the indicators as ‘smoke detectors’.
When they suggest a provider is outside the expected range of performance then further examination and inspection will be triggered.
Stephen Dorrell said: “Putting in place systems to inspect hospitals and care homes proved too much for the CQC in previous years. Inspections were superficial and produced reports which bore little relation to reality, but the CQC now has a coherent plan to make sure providers are properly examined.
“Giving inspection teams the time and tools to understand what is really happening in hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes is fundamental. The CQC is now doing this by recruiting specialist inspectors who can understand and interpret what they observe during inspections.”