CQC forced to drop local system reviews due to lack of funding

The Care Quality Commission has been forced to drop its programme of local system reviews after requests for its continuation were ignored by the Department of Health and Social Care.

In a letter to Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee, the regulator said it had disbanded its dedicated local systems review team after receiving “no formal response” from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock to a request for clarity on the focus and scale of the next review programme.

The government commissioned the CQC to carry out 23 targeted reviews of local health and social care systems at a cost of £2.08m.

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The aim was to focus on how these services meet people’s needs, how care providers work together, and to investigate all parts of the system support people aged 65 and over.

In the letter, sent on January 23, the CQC said the decision to drop the LSR programme was “disappointing”, given the benefits it has demonstrated.

The letter from Chris Day, CQC’s director of engagement, said: “In early November, Ian [Trenholm] wrote to the Secretary of State to ask for clarity on the focus and scale of the next review programme by mid-December to enable us to maintain the momentum of the work.

“At this point, we have not received a formal response to that request, though we understand that there is no scope for further funding in this financial year and the Department wishes to make decisions about the future of the programme after the Adult Social Care Green Paper is finalised.

“We have as a result been forced to disband our dedicated LSR team due to a lack of funding from the DHSC to continue the programme.”

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