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Reflections on 2017

  • Organisations we regulate

The end of the year is always a time for reflection and in my final column of the year I want to discuss the challenges and successes we have seen in adult social care in 2017.

Developing our approach and transforming care

I was delighted in January that we completed the initial programme of comprehensive inspections for adult social care, giving us the evidence base for The state of adult social care services 2014-2017 report published in July. This was the first time that such focused analysis on a national scale had been possible and allowed CQC to share our learning from the many thousands of inspections we had completed. These strong foundations allowed us to focus on developing and strengthening our approach in 2017.

In June we published guidance on Registering the Right Support which underpins our commitment to transforming care for people living with a learning disability and/or autism. This is an example of how we will work with providers to develop services that follow best practice, promote independence and inclusion, and underpin principles of choice.

Later in the year, this November, we launched the next phase of regulation for adult social care with revised guidance for providers and inspectors and a new assessment framework. We have simplified and strengthened our approach to ensure we can be flexible and responsive to changes in care provision and target our work to the areas of greatest concern. In 2018 we will roll-out our digital system for collecting information from providers, which will allow us to improve our monitoring and reduce duplication and burden on providers and staff.

Resilience and commitment of staff in the face of challenges

In October’s State of Care report we recognised the huge pressure that providers are under; the fact that quality has been maintained and most people are receiving good, safe care despite all the challenges is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff and leaders. Thank you to all of you who have worked hard this year to ensure that people who use services have received personalised, caring, high-quality care.

Cross-sector collaboration

In State of Care we also argued that everybody’s focus must now be on working more collaboratively to create a sustainable and effective health and care system. 2017 saw some real collaborative achievements in adult social care, including the launch of Quality matters in July. It is the first time that organisations across the sector have come together with people who use services, their families and carers to make a shared commitment to quality in adult social care. Following the launch work has continued to make progress on the ambitions laid out in Quality matters; with organisations working together to ensure the commitment leads to concrete achievements.

The interim report of findings from the first six reviews of how local systems work together to care for people aged 65 and older, published on 19 December, has reinforced the message that collaborative working is crucial to achieving a health and social care system that responds to people’s needs. The remaining 14 reviews and a final report will be published in 2018 and will bring together all the learning from this work.

What has impressed me the most throughout all these challenges and achievements has been the dedication of people who work in adult social care to keeping the interests of people using services, their families and carers at the heart of what we do. Thank you all for your contributions in 2017. I wish you and all your teams a very happy Christmas and I look forward to working together with you in 2018.

Last updated:
20 December 2017


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