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CQC governance 'overhaul' needed

9th January 2013

Health select committee chair Stephen Dorrell has said there is an urgent need for an overhaul of the Care Quality Commission.

The MP said despite being in operation for five years, the CQC was still not clear about its core purpose, a situation he described as "extraordinary".

Mr Dorrell was speaking at the launch of the committee’s report on its annual accountability hearing with the regulator, which said the CQC had a lack of clarity of purpose and still had issues with consistency of inspection and use of resources.

He made it clear that the committee was not recommending that it throw “all the cards up in the air and start again” but there was an urgent need for an “overhaul” of CQC governance.

It called upon health secretary Jeremy Hunt to think where responsibility for patient safety should lie following the abolition of the National Patient Safety Agency and transfer of its functions to the NHS Commissioning Board – suggesting it may be a potential future role for the CQC.

Mr Dorrell said the committee’s view was that the CQC is in a better shape than it was but there was "still a long way to go."

In response, CQC chief executive David Behan said it had already started to implement changes following last year’s consultations on a "clear statement of purpose".

He added: “We have demonstrated through the consultation on the strategy an open and transparent approach. We will ensure that openness and transparency are at the heart of the way we develop.”

 

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