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The world of health and social care is changing. So are we.
This consultation has closed
This consultation closed at 5pm on Thursday 4 March 2021.
We’ll change how we regulate to improve care for everyone.
We were established as an independent regulator with a clear purpose: to ensure health and care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and to encourage those services to improve.
We’ll always be committed to this purpose, it’s as vital as ever. But the world in which we regulate has changed significantly since we were created. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated that change: new and innovative types of service started up using digital channels, and new restrictions have changed how services can deliver care.
In this new world, we must also transform. We need to make changes to the way we regulate so that it’s more relevant and has positive outcomes for everyone, as people’s expectations of care have changed. We need to be more flexible to manage risk and uncertainty. We’ve learned a lot from our response to the pandemic, and we’re using this to put us in a better place for the future and support services to keep people safe.
We have a responsibility to change people’s lives for the better
As people get older, they often have multiple, long-term conditions. Delivering care is increasingly complex. The organisation of health and social care services is evolving rapidly, and many are working in partnership across different sectors. The crisis has emphasised just how vital this is. It’s now more important than ever for health and care services to work together as a system to deliver care – to meet the needs of the local population and of each individual person.
But the approach of delivering care as a ‘system’ is very different to the ‘single provider service model’ that CQC was set up to oversee in 2009.
It’s not enough to look at how one service operates in isolation
It’s essential that people who use services, those who work in them, and health and care organisations work together as a system to design and deliver care. It’s how services work together that has a real impact on people’s outcomes. We need to adapt to this. Our assessment of people’s care must look at every stage of their journey through the health and care system, looking at both individual services and across different providers and organisations.
The way people receive care has also changed – powered and supported through new technology. The growth of artificial intelligence, advances in data analytics and the increase in mobile communication all point to a future of care built on a dynamic partnership between health and care services and the people who use them. We need to understand where digital services can meet people’s needs and improve their outcomes – and change the way we regulate them.
The pandemic has renewed the focus on inequalities in health and care
We’ve seen inequalities across different areas of the country and different groups of people. Reducing inequalities in people’s outcomes is a fundamental part of our new strategy. We want everybody to have access to safer and better-quality care and we will champion this in everything we do. We want to understand why there’s such variation across the country in how people get the care they need, so we can help to tackle it.
We’re committed to reducing inequalities, eliminating discrimination, advancing equality, and protecting human rights. We want our new strategy to help health and social care providers and systems to do this.
Our strategy is built on four themes that together determine the changes we want to make. Running through each theme is our ambition to improve people’s care by looking at how well health and care systems are working and how they’re acting to reduce inequalities.
We want our regulation to be driven by people’s experiences and what they expect and need from health and care services. We’ll focus on what matters to the public, and to local communities, when they access, use, and move between services.
We want all services to have stronger safety cultures. We’ll expect learning and improvement to be the primary response to all safety concerns in all types of service. When safety doesn’t improve, and services don’t learn lessons, we’ll take action to protect people.
We want to do more to make improvement happen. We’ll target the priority areas that need support the most. We want to see improvement within individual services, and in the way they work together as a system to make sure people get the care they need.
Our aim is to implement our new strategy over the next five years. To enable us to be as flexible as possible and adapt to changes in health and care, we’ll review it when we need to.
- Last updated:
- 04 March 2021