CQC faces problems

The House of Commons’ Health Select Committee has issued a statement that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the health and care regulator for England – has yet to win the public’s confidence and had failed to grasp its primary role to ensure patient safety. It still needs to define its core purpose and earn the public’s confidence that its inspections provide an assurance of acceptable standards in care and patient safety.

Writing in the Guardian, Stephen Dorrell the chair of the health select committee and a former health secretary stated that the Committee had made a number of key recommendations, including:

  • Requiring the CQC to “ensure that its inspections represent a challenging process which is designed to find service shortcomings where they exist, ensure when appropriate that service providers address them rapidly, and report promptly both to providers and users of the service.”
  • Ensuring that the regulator becomes “more diligent about communicating the prompt, accurate and complete outcomes of its inspections directly to operators, residents and relatives, as well as to public sector commissioners”, and
  • being more proactive towards whistle-blowing.”

Whilst MPs acknowledged that the CQC was now aware of the changes it needed to make and had taken on new inspectors to remedy matters, nevertheless the CQC had not yet successfully defined its core purpose or earned public confidence.