OPINION: CQC’s chief inspector provides insight into regulatory developments

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care.Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) chief inspector of adult social care, launches a brand new column designed to keep you up to date with regulatory developments. 

I’d like to start my first column with a sincere thank you to Care Home Professional for giving me the opportunity to bring you regular updates from CQC on everything we’re doing to help those running and working within adult social care to provide people with the best care and support they possibly can.

So, without further ado, I’ll get straight to it!

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Roles and responsibilities

Working across a huge and varied sector – whether you are a provider, manager, care worker, commissioner or in another of so many important
roles – you play an essential part in helping ensure care homes are places worth living in for people, their families and carers.

People rarely love a regulator – some think we do too much while others think we do too little. CQC is absolutely committed to understanding these different perspectives by working in partnership and collaboration, while at the same time, being true to our purpose of ensuring safe, high quality and compassionate care for those who rely upon these vital services.

My advice is if you always focus on doing the right thing for the people you care for and support, you won’t go far wrong.

Challenge

We know that at their best – as we are seeing in over three quarters of locations across the country – care homes can positively transform people’s lives. But concerns about poor care combined with increased demand and problems with recruiting and retaining staff remain as real as ever. It is clear to me that striving to achieve good quality care has never been so critical.

Future

There is more that we can all do to help with that, and for CQC’s part, the launch of our next phase of regulation for adult social care highlights
some important proposals.

This includes introducing a new online provider collection; increasing our focus on those services that are repeatedly rated as Requires Improvement; and registering services at a corporate level of an organisation so we can truly hold to account all of those responsible for the quality of care.

Another key aspect is improving the monitoring of services by making sure we are using all the information that is at our disposal – from staff, people using services, their carers and families and other health and social care professionals – so we can determine the most appropriate timing and focus of our inspections.

Over the summer we are seeking your views and feedback on these, and other, important proposals that will shape our work over the coming months and years. Please do take the opportunity to take a look and let us know what you think by 8 August.

Finally

I worry that the focus on good quality care can sometimes get lost in all of the ongoing debates about costs and funding. Together with other sector
leaders, we are doing all that we can to make sure that doesn’t happen with the launch of an important piece of work –Quality Matters – later this month that will focus on some practical actions to help drive forward improvement.

Please watch out for that. I’ll be back with another column in September. In the meantime if there’s a burning issue or topic you’d like me to cover next time then please send your suggestions into CHP’s Editor at lee.peart@itppromedia.com.

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