CQC publishes revised plan for transformation and tackling health inequalities

Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released a revised approach and plan for transformation, focusing on how they will deliver their strategy and tackle health inequalities.

They aim to introduce a new regulatory approach for health and care providers, local authorities and integrated care systems; to establish new regulatory leadership shaping priorities; to change how operational teams are structured; and to deliver a new and improved provider portal.

Over the last two months, CQC has been reviewing feedback from stakeholders alongside their implementation timeline. The new assessment approach for providers, originally due to be released in January 2023, will not be released later in the year. This is to allow more time to test already-released changes and gain more feedback, and additionally spend more time testing and developing future changes to make sure that providers can adapt to them smoothly.

CQC notes a number of priorities in addition to their regular inspection programmes, intended to support them in maintaining a proper view of quality and risk. These priorities include their national programme of inspections in maternity services; their ‘People First’ resource which aims to help the urgent and emergency care (UEC) pathway; and the continuation of monthly service reviews.

When it comes to digital, from spring CQC will focus on “making sure the technology we need is in place and that we’re able to test it with providers” and aim to be confident that their new regulatory approach is ready to launch.

Alongside this, the new Regulatory Leadership team will be setting out priorities across the sectors, and CQC plan to “understand more about what is happening locally when [they] start looking at how care is provided at a system level.”

In summer, CQC aim to launch a new online provider portal. This will be completed in stages with support and guidance provided. In the first stage, providers will be able to submit statutory notifications and CQC will improve how their enforcement process works.

“This is the start of gathering evidence in a new and structured way that will help inform our assessments, making it much easier for providers to interact with us,” they state. “It also allows us to test and refine how the provider portal and our internal technology works to support our new approach.”

By the end of 2023, assessments will start to be carried out in new ways, with providers able to register with CQC and make ongoing changes through the portal. Ultimately, all online interactions with providers should occur via the portal.

To read the approach in more detail, click here.