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Services must learn from good and outstanding care, says CQC

27 March 2015
  • Media

Good and outstanding care is centred on the individual, has clear and visible leadership, and has processes and staff that constantly explore ways to improve. This is what the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found from its revamped inspections so far, which are providing a clearer picture of the quality and safety of care in England than ever before.

The regulator is calling for providers of these services to learn from what these are doing well so that everyone can get the safe, high-quality and compassionate care that they deserve.

Last year, CQC formally rolled out its new way of inspecting health and adult social care across the country, which assesses whether services are safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs, and well-led.

Most inspections then lead to CQC awarding ratings of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate. From April, people can expect to start seeing these ratings on provider websites, as well as across premises, public entrances and waiting areas of care services, to drive change and to give them clear information on how their services are performing.

As of last week, CQC has rated over 1,650 providers and services as either Good or Outstanding – that’s over 75% of its ratings of NHS trusts, primary medical services and adult social care services rated to date.

Based on a sample of these, CQC has found three emerging themes that good and outstanding services share:

  1. They provide care that is person-centred – designed around the individual and with their involvement
  2. They have a clear ‘line-of-sight’ from senior leadership to the frontline staff and services
  3. They check how well they are doing and seek ways to improve.

As discussed in yesterday’s public Board meeting, during which the regulator presented its business plan for 2015/16, CQC recognises its role in encouraging health and adult social care to improve – a key way CQC can do this is by highlighting examples of services that are providing good and outstanding care to support learning.

David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: "Everyone has a right to receive good care. Quite rightly, much attention is given to the instances when care services have failed people, as this can hold bodies to account and set processes in motion to make sure mistakes are not repeated. However, to achieve this we must also recognise and celebrate the services that are getting it right.

"I am pleased that our new inspection regime is identifying some good and outstanding care across the country, from hospices, to general practices, to care that people receive in their own homes, and to NHS hospitals, mental health and community services. I would like to commend the staff who run these services and provide care on the frontline.

"I hope that shining a spotlight on some of the good and outstanding care we have uncovered will encourage learning, drive improvement and inspire greater confidence in the sectors."

Examples of the care CQC that is celebrating include:

  • Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey – the first acute hospital to be rated as Outstanding. In particular, CQC commended its leadership (both at board and ward levels) and the clear vision, values and commitment that staff share to deliver high-quality care for their patients.
  • Salford Health Matters – a primary care service in Greater Manchester and one of the first to be rated as Outstanding. The inspection team praised the service’s focus on how it can improve at every level, including how it responds to complaints and promotes the process, and how it welcomes feedback both from staff and patients so that it can learn from events and mistakes.
  • Home Instead Senior Care in West Lancashire – one of the first adult social care services to be rated as Outstanding for how it cares for and supports people with physical disabilities and mental health needs. In particular, CQC highlighted the service’s person-centred approach, including the emotional support that it factors into care plans and their principles of kindness, respect, dignity and compassion.

By the end of the year, CQC will have inspected the majority of health and adult social care services using its new regime, and so it will be able to continue to report on what services are doing well and on where improvements are needed.

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, said: "We know many thousands of people receive excellent care from health and adult social care providers and our tougher new inspections are uncovering this, as well as highlighting where action needs to be taken.

"I want to congratulate the hard working staff at services awarded good or outstanding ratings – it is now for others to follow by example."

Katherine Rake, Chief Executive of Healthwatch England, said: "It comes as no surprise to see that the best hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes are those that put patients at the heart of what they do.

"All over the country we hear about brilliant examples of doctors, nurses and carers working with their patients, involving them in decisions about their care to ensure they get both the treatment and support they want as well as need.

"But these need to be more than just isolated examples. We want to see this approach adopted across every part of the health and social care system, and would urge people to get in touch with their local Healthwatch to share their experiences, good and bad, to help us drive improvement."


For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out-of-hours on 0778 987 6508. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has described examples of good and outstanding care that it has found from its inspections in a national report, Celebrating good care, which it has published today. These are:

  1. The Ridgeway in Romford, Essex, which cares for adults with learning disabilities and other complex needs – rated Outstanding in January 2015
  2. The East Lancashire Medical Service based within the Royal Blackburn Hospital – rated Good in November 2014
  3. St Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham – rated Outstanding in January 2015
  4. Dr PJP Holden and; Partners, a general practice in Matlock, Derbyshire – rated Outstanding in January 2015
  5. Home Instead Senior Care, a home care service in Ormskirk, West Lancashire – rated Outstanding in January 2015
  6. Radbrook Green Surgery in Shropshire – rated Outstanding in January 2015
  7. Salford Health Matters, a primary medical service in Eccles – rated Outstanding in November 2014
  8. Allied Healthcare Domiciliary Care in Brighton – rated Good in January 2015
  9. Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – rated Good in June 2014
  10. Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust – rated Good in May 2014
  11. Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley, Surrey – rated Outstanding in September 2014
  12. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust – rated Good in September 2014

Read the report: Celebrating good care, championing outstanding care.

CQC’s new way of inspecting health and adult social care in England has allowed it to rate 75 NHS trusts, 2,146 adult social care services (including hospices), and 444 primary medical services, as of Monday 23 March 2015.

NHS trusts
1 Outstanding
22 Good
44 Requires Improvement
8 Inadequate

Adult Social Care
18 Outstanding
1,223 Good
603 Requires Improvement
162 Inadequate

Primary Medical Services
14 Outstanding
374 Good
44 Requires Improvement
12 Inadequate

Listen again to CQC’s discussion about its business plan for 2015/16 (item 6).

Further information about the upcoming requirement for providers to display their CQC performance ratings.

Last year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) formally rolled out its new approach to monitoring and inspecting health and adult social care services across England, which includes greater involvement from members of the public, better use of information to identify risk, and more thorough, specialised and expert-led visits. Inspection teams assess whether services are delivering care that is safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs, and well-led.

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.