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CQC responds to latest NAO report on progress

13 October 2017
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has welcomed the National Audit Office’s report out today (Friday 13 October), which examines how the regulator is supporting people to get safe, high quality and compassionate care in England and encouraging improvement.

The report finds that CQC has "improved as an organisation" since its last assessment of its work in 2015, which concluded that CQC had made "substantial progress" in strengthening the way it monitors, inspects and regulates hospitals, care homes, general practices and other services across the country.

In particular, the NAO recognises in its latest assessment that CQC has now completed its inspection and ratings programme comprising over 28,000 different services and providers. For the first time, this has provided a baseline assessment of the quality of services across England that has not been possible before, helping to increase transparency and understanding and to encourage improvement in health and adult social care.

The report comments that CQC must continue to improve some of its regulatory activities, including the timeliness of the publication of its inspection reports, and that its ambition for the future must be carefully managed and supported by digital systems and capabilities.

Elsewhere, the NAO’s report notes that the introduction of CQC’s five-year strategy in April 2016 included a move towards a more intelligence-driven, targeted and risk-based approach to regulation.

Also, CQC has taken more enforcement action against providers when care fails people, has improved how it measures its own performance, has demonstrated its commitment to efficiency, and has significantly reduced its staff vacancies.

Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said:

"As the independent quality regulator, CQC plays an important role in making sure people receive safe high quality care. I welcome the NAO's independent review of how well we carry out those responsibilities."

"This report recognises the good progress we have made whilst at the same time confirming those areas where we need to continue to improve."

"I want to pay tribute to the CQC staff and Board for the commitment and energy they invest every day. It is their hard work and progress which is recognised by the NAO in its report."


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Last updated:
13 October 2017

Notes to editors

  1. For further information about the National Audit Office’s report on the Care Quality Commission
  2. For further information about CQC’s five year strategy
  3. In its annual report on the state of healthcare and adult social care, which published on Tuesday (10 October), CQC found that as at 31 July 2017, 78% of adult social care services were rated good (71% were rated good at 31 July 2016) as were 55% of NHS acute hospital core services (2016: 51%); 68% of NHS mental healthcare core services (2016: 61%) and 89% of GP practices (2016: 83%). Also, 82% of adult social care services originally rated as inadequate and re-inspected (606 out of 740) improved their rating, 12 out of the 15 hospitals originally rated as inadequate and re-inspected improved, all of the nine mental health services (NHS trusts or independent hospitals) originally rated as inadequate and re-inspected improved their rating and 80% of GP practices originally rated as inadequate and re-inspected (156 out of 196) improved. Click for further information.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.