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CQC pushing through changes to inspection regime

22nd February 2012

A non-executive member of the Care Quality Commission has issued a warning about changes planned to its inspection regime.

John Harwood is concerned that the changes are being made on the basis of a flawed consultation process.

Speaking to the senior management team at a recent board meeting, he voiced concerns that the changes would force inspectors to focus on failure rather than trying to improve the quality of care.

The new approach set to be adopted by the CQC will see inspectors looking more for non-compliance, rather than compliance.

Mr Harwood said that the changes are being perceived by some as "vindictive".

Also under the changes, which come into effect on 1 April, trusts will no longer be given time to comply through improvement notices or extended deadlines but will simply be labelled compliant or non-compliant.

Another non-executive member, Kay Sheldon, rejected the changes, which were accepted by the majority of the board.

She felt the consultation process was not robust enough.

Despite being sent to 30,000 people, it drew responses from 174 organisations and individuals, including seven from the CQC, and 69 from health and social care providers.

The CQC has also acknowledged that it would have hoped for a better response.

In addition, concerns have been raised about the way in which CQC inspections are being followed up with HSJ saying it had seen information that revealed that a third of hospitals at which inspectors raised concerns about the care of older people received no follow-up visit.

 

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