A ‘bold ambition’: Care Quality Commission’s new strategic plan now out for consultation

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The health and social care regulator is consulting on its strategy for the next five years and beyond. Its draft strategy document explains how it plans to develop its approach to regulation in the context of a changing health and care landscape – taking into account learning from the Covid-19 pandemic, the growth of new technology and the shift to delivering care as a ‘system’ rather than the ‘single provider service model’. In short, ensuring that the new regulatory model is fit for the future.

The strong messages in this strategy are ones of ensuring regulation is effective, relevant and flexible – and an ambition to move towards a more proportionate and risk-based approach to regulation instead of the more resource intensive set piece inspections. We anticipate this will be welcome news to health and social care providers in England. Although commenting on the strategy NHS Providers observe that there will be a need to understand what fewer inspections mean for providers wanting to improve their ratings or exit special measures.

Four themes to the strategy

These themes identify the changes CQC plan to make to its approach to regulation. The Red Thread running through each of the four themes is CQC’s intention to understand how well health and care systems are working and how they are acting to reduce inequalities.

Have your say by 4 March 2021

CQC are keen to know what providers of health and social care services think about the proposals for future regulation – do you support the ambitions set out in these four themes ? If you’d like to respond to the consultation you can do so using the online form here or you can respond by email to strategydevelopment@cqc.org.uk.

Another consultation coming down the track

Later in January CQC plan to launch a second consultation on proposals that will help them in their response to the pandemic in the short term, while also laying the foundations to deliver their next strategy and future regulatory model.

The changes proposed are designed to enable CQC to assess performance and rate in a more flexible and responsive way, meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic.

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