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Good news for care home operators?

23 Jun 2014

The CQC and Department of Health have this month issued a full response to the Government’s Focus on Enforcement Review of the Adult Care Home Sector. The Review identified a number of key findings about the impact of regulation and suggested that unnecessary burdens are being placed on adult care home providers, who felt that as a result they are having to focus on providing ‘paperwork not care’. The Review also highlighted a number of concerns within the adult care sector about the effectiveness of regulatory enforcement.

In what appears to be good news for care home operators, the CQC has responded by committing to:

  • improve the co-ordination of inspection and monitoring visits, reducing unnecessary duplication, whilst still ensuring homes are delivering the required standard of care
  • minimise wasteful inconsistency for providers that deal with multiple local authorities. New commissioning standards will help local authorities manage the commissioning of care places
  • provide clearer grading of performance; greater recognition for better homes, and more incentive for poorer providers to improve through a new ratings system for the standard of care in homes
  • ensure that providers are inspected by individuals who understand how the sector works, by increasing the number of specialist inspectors and strengthening the training arrangements
  • support more consistent decision making for providers  by introducing a revised quality assessment framework that will enable inspectors to use their expert judgement within a structured system
  • look at ways to help providers better manage their own performance and compliance in line with the requirements of the regulatory system – examining the scope to build independent accreditation into the regulation of the sector

The CQC has emphasised that it is committed to becoming a strong regulator that is effective in protecting the best interests of people who use services and their families, without placing unnecessary burdens on providers of care.

As part of their revised approach, the CQC promises to deliver greater transparency and expertise in its judgements against five key questions it will ask of all services: are they safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? This will involve building a definitive view of ‘what good looks like’ that will enable it to make clear judgements about the quality and safety of services. The CQC also plans to introduce a ratings system for all adult care homes, starting this year.

For further information, please contact Jonathan Waters on 0191 232 8345 or email: jonathan.waters@hay-kilner.co.uk