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Greater focus on using people’s views to drive inspections of care services

Published today, the Care Quality Commission’s five year strategy, includes a greater focus on using the voices of patients, service users and their families, along with other information, to target inspections.

CQC is responsible for monitoring, inspecting and regulating health and social care in England. The new strategy sets out how CQC will combine learning from inspections with better use of intelligence from the public and others to focus inspections more tightly on where people may be at risk of poor care.

As well as a more intelligence-driven approach to regulation, future CQC priorities include encouraging improvement, innovation and sustainability in care, as well as working with others to agree a consistent approach to defining and measuring quality.

Stronger role for Healthwatch

The new strategy, Shaping the future, will mean that well-performing services with high standards of care are inspected less frequently than those where the risk of lower quality care is higher.

Future inspections will be more closely targeted, and will be informed and led by the experiences of service users and intelligence provided by local Healthwatch and others.

By collaborating more closely with local Healthwatch up and down the country, the CQC will be able to use our network to hear of people’s experiences, and react more quickly when causes for concern are raised.

Local Healthwatch will also be involved in supporting services to improve after inspection by being involved in ‘quality summits’. These are meetings that CQC organise with the care provider and other local partners.

Putting people front and centre

Responding to the publication of the CQC’s strategy, Jane Mordue, Interim Chair of Healthwatch England, said:

“The experiences of the public must be front and centre of the way that health and social care works, and we welcome the fact that the CQC is embedding this idea in their new strategy.

“Patients and care users represent the greatest source of information that the NHS possesses in understanding how it’s performing. Last year the Healthwatch network heard from over 300,000 people across the country, and their insight can add real value to the work of the CQC.

"We look forward to sharing our intelligence with the CQC to ensure that the public get the quality of care that they deserve.”

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