Our new assessment approach: update December 2023

Published: 6 December 2023 Page last updated: 6 December 2023

We have now started our rollout of the new assessment framework in our South region and with 'early adopter' providers that volunteered to take part.

Over the next few months, we will continue to do this region by region. We will be contacting providers with information as we begin in each one.

Once the rollout reaches the region where your service is located, we will use our new framework to assess. This will be based on a planned assessment or to respond to risk.

Our guidance on introducing our new approach keeps you up-to-date with our rollout plans.

All of these changes help us to get one step closer to our ambition to regulate in a smarter way and respond to risk. We will be able to have a better understanding of the quality of care in a local area or healthcare system, and ultimately keep people safe.

Early adopter programme

From 21 November, we started using the new approach with a small number of providers across various types of service and sectors. We used planned assessments during this period and will use the feedback from these providers to help shape our approach.

After an on-site inspection, one provider told us

So far the process has been communicated really well, obviously there have been a few teething issues but our main assessor/inspector has communicated honestly with us about this. The honest open communication has been the best part of the process so far.

We will continue to ask for feedback from the early adopter providers, as well as all other providers, to learn from their experiences as we start to use our new assessments.

What is changing?

Although we are starting to use a new approach, our expectations of care have not changed and our current ratings and 5 key questions will stay central to our approach.

We know it's important to have clear guidance to help you feel ready for our new assessments. Therefore we're developing a new section of guidance for providers: our new approach to assessment. This includes:

We also provide guidance on how the assessment process will work.

We will continue to update and develop this guidance as we roll out our approach and answer queries that are important to providers.

What can providers do to prepare?

Our local authority and integrated care system assessments

We have completed our local authority pilot assessments and published the findings.

Learning from the pilots will be incorporated into our formal assessments which will start pending government approvals. We will be writing to local authorities to notify them that they will be assessed. This notification will include a request for them to complete an information return and a date for our on-site interviews.

We have updated our guidance on how we assess local authorities and will publish this following government approval, as required by the Health and Care Act 2022.