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CQC Annual Report 2012/13

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Throughout 2012/13, we introduced many changes to our way of working to help ensure that people receive high-quality care.

Our achievements in 2012/13 have formed the basis for the way we will work which have been outlined in Our strategy and business plan.

We are currently developing plans to help us deliver these changes. If you'd like to send us your feedback on some of our plans, visit Consultation on changes to the way we inspect, regulate and monitor care services.

Key highlights in 2012/13

Inspecting health and care services

In 2012/13, we carried out more than 35,000 inspections of health and social care services. The number of inspections we carried out included:

  • 845 of NHS trusts.
  • 27,678 of adult social care services.
  • 2,434 of independent health care services.
  • 4,161 of dental care services.
  • 253 of independent ambulances.

Throughout this period, 910 warning notices were served to care services that were providing unacceptable care.

Visiting patients under the Mental Health Act

Throughout 2012/13, 1,090 Mental Health Act (MHA) visits were carried out by 96 MHA commissioners.

During these visits, commissioners:

  • interviewed patients who had been detained under the MHA.
  • reviewed care plans, risk management plans and other documents.
  • inspected mental health wards.

Registering care services

For the first time, we registered over 7,500 providers of general practice and other primary medical services online.

Importantly, we were able to do this without compromising our inspections of other sectors that we monitor and regulate.

In 2012/13, the number of providers that were registered included:

  • 256 NHS trusts.
  • 12,669 adult social care services.
  • 1,402 independent health care services.
  • 8,057 dental services.
  • 243 independent ambulance services.
  • 7,634 GP and primary medical services.

Recruiting more inspectors

We recruited more inspectors in 2012/13 - raising the number to 955.

We also recruited 150 temporary inspectors who each had extensive experience in health and care services and brought a range of expertise with them. These temporary inspectors were thoroughly trained, inducted and worked in teams led by our staff.

Advisors and experts

More clinical and professional advisors took part in our inspections of services. These advisors came from a wide range of backgrounds and included doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and more.

Experts by Experience took part in more than 1,400 inspections in 2012/13. This was almost three times the number from the previous year.

Listening to whistleblowers

Concerns raised by whistleblowers increased throughout 2012/13.

In total, we were contacted 8,634 times regarding a whistleblowing concern. This was more than double the number of contacts received in 2011/12.

Tell us about your care

We also made is easier for people to contact us and tell us about their experiences of care through the 'Tell us about your care' programme.

As part of this programme, we established communication partnerships with 20 leading charities, including the Relatives and Residents Association and the Patients Association, to encourage members of the public to speak to us about their care.

Our website

The use of our website continues to grow steadily. In January 2013, more than 600,000 people visited our website (compared to 350,000 in January 2012).

The number of followers to our Twitter account doubled in 2012/13 - from 7,550 in April 2012 to 15,847 at the end of March 2013. Follow us now!

We also launched an email alert service in November 2012 which alerts people when a service is being inspected by us and when we have published the corresponding report.

More than 12,000 subscriptions to services took place in the first three months.

Top 50 call centres

Our National Customer Service Centre (NCSC) plays a vital role in building better relationships with the public.

In 2012, it was awarded 36th place in the UK Top 50 Companies for Customer Service programme. We will take part in this programme again in 2013/14 to further improve our relationship with the public.

NCSC handles 5,600 calls, emails and items of post every week. In 2012/13, it also answered 94 per cent of safeguarding calls within 30 seconds (against a business plan target of 90 per cent).

Working to the future

Find out how these highlights and other activities have formed a basis for the way we will work in the future.

CQC Annual Report 2012/13: Achievements that have underpinned our new strategy

Our new strategy contains six priorities that will help us deliver our purpose of making sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care.

Below, you’ll find out how our achievements in the past year have already formed a basis to help us meet these priorities.

Priority 1

Better use of information
  • Fully completed our inspection programme across all sectors.
  • Extended clinical and professional expertise in our inspections.
  • Involved Experts by Experience in 1,408 inspections.
  • Contacted more than 8,600 times regarding a whistleblowing concern.
  • Saw care services' performance against the national standards improve in all sectors.

Priority 2

Working better with our partners
  • Worked closer with Monitor on assessing prospective foundation trusts.
  • Established Healthwatch England as a committee of CQC.

Priority 3

Building better relationships with the public
  • Broadened the 'Tell us about your care' programme.
  • Created communication partnerships with 20 leading charities.
  • Made our inspection reports clearer.
  • Launched email alerts.
  • Saw a large use of the CQC widget.
  • Documents in alternative formats generated 68,000 downloads.
  • Awarded 36th place in the UK Top 50 Companies for Customer Service programme.

Priority 4

Building better relationships with those we regulate
  • Registered more than 7,500 providers of general practice.
  • Embedded online accounts in GP registration.
  • Further developed online communities for care providers.
  • 94 per cent of providers agreed that the way we regulate services is beneficial to the quality of care people receive.

Priority 5

Delivering our responsibilities under the Mental Health Act and mental capacity
  • Further developed joint inspections with Mental Health Act (MHA) monitoring teams.
  • MHA commissioners carried out 1,090 visits to patients in mental health wards.
  • Triaged 87 per cent of complaints about the use of the MHA within three days.
  • Put more focus on restrictive practices to gather information on inpatient mental health wards and promote positive practice by care staff.

Priority 6

Building a high-performing organisation
  • Improved the results of the staff survey.
  • Embarked on the 'Investors in people' process.
  • Began dementia training for all staff.
  • Recruited a full complement of inspectors.


Last updated:
24 June 2014