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Priorities for the New Care Quality Commission

“Operating as of April 1st, the  Care Quality Commission (CQC) took over the role of the former Commission for Social Care Inspection”, stated Brian Bullock, Managing Director of Building Construction Partnership. “We believe it is important to keep our clients informed of how this effects them and offer 2 relevant articles for your consideration”.

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A recent article was written by Geoff Hodgson, Editor of Caring Times Magazine and published on their website;  www.careinfo.org introducing the changes and offered a brief into a presentation by Chair of the CQC; Baroness Barbara Young at a launch function.

Super-regulator opens for business

Health and social care now have a ‘super regulator’ in the shape of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Operating as of April 1st the CQC takes over the role of the former Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) as the registration and regulation body for social care in England, as well as performing the functions of the former Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission.

Speaking at a launch function on April 1st, CQC chair Barbara Young said the new body marked a new stage in the drive for quality and safety in health and adult social care.

“CQC will join up the regulation of health and adult social care across the public and independent sectors for the first time,” said Ms Young.

“The public wants good quality of care wherever it is provided and wants care that is joined up. Particularly as the population ages, the care people receive spans sectors and they should have assurance that, no matter where their care is delivered, the services are operating to the same essential common quality standards. Throughout our work, we will act with rigour, robustness and independence to safeguard the interests of the public.”

Ms Young said the CQC would be a modern, proportionate and responsive regulator, working with providers and commissioners of services to encourage improvement.

“That doesn’t mean we’ll be an easy touch,” she said.

“We will have a range of tough new enforcement powers and we won’t be afraid to use them when it is appropriate, but our first aim will be to prevent problems through encouraging improvement. We will act nimbly and flexibly to spot problems early and work with providers of services and their commissioners to tackle issues of quality early.”

On the day of its launch, the CQC announced a programme of special reviews for the coming year. On the social care front, these reviews will examine:

  • the healthcare needs of people in care homes;
  • meeting the physical health needs of people with mental health problems and learning disabilities in hospitals and residential homes.

In its first year CQC will also continue with quality ratings of care homes and homecare provision.

A second article was published on the Age Concern and Help the Aged website see below…

Article provided by Age Concern and Help the Aged on the priorities for the new Care Quality Commission (01.04.09)

Michelle Mitchell‚ Charity Director of Age Concern and Help the Aged‚ said:

“As recent cases have shown‚ too many older people and their families continue to be horribly let down by health and care services. The quality of care they experience is all too often not up to scratch‚ so it’s encouraging that this is one of the new Commission’s first reviews.

“Many care home residents have chronic health conditions‚ such as diabetes‚ yet they often find it difficult to establish routines with staff that would manage their health needs. It can also be difficult to see a GP or dentists as some practices are reluctant to visit care homes without being paid a retainer fee‚ when they should be supporting residents free through the NHS.”

Age Concern and Help the Aged has issued a ‘Seven Point Plan’ for the new Care Quality Commission:

  • Publicly report on shortcomings in the system in addition to making recommendations for improvement
  • Give equal priority to care and support services as to health services
  • Place as much emphasis on dignity‚ human rights and quality of life as physical safety in setting and measuring standards
  • Report transparently‚ frequently and clearly on performance to increase people’s confidence in services
  • Ensure health and care workers are trained by their employers to identify‚ support and report abuse or neglect
  • Give a stronger focus on nutrition to end the horror of older people being malnourished in health and care settings
  • Conduct a review of mental health services being provided in the community and care homes

Note: Age Concern England and Help the Aged have joined together to form a single charity dedicated to improving the lives of older people

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