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CQC sets priorities for 2015/16 and ambitions for the future of regulation

27 March 2015
  • Public

Today (Friday 27 March), we have published our business plan for 2015/16, which sets out what we’ll be working towards over the next year, and our ambitions for where we see our regulation of health and adult social care in England going beyond that.

We’ve set four priorities that summarise our commitments over the next year. These are:

  1. Deliver the new approach to regulation
  2. Shaping the future
  3. Build an effective CQC
  4. Demonstrate the difference we make

2015/16 will be an important year for health and adult social care in England as we continue to be responsible for making sure providers offer people safe, high-quality and compassionate care, but under new regulations called the ‘fundamental standards’ as set by the Government.

We will continue to roll out our improved way of inspecting services across health and adult social care – including hospitals, care homes and general practices – as well as formally introducing this for dental surgeries, ambulances and independent healthcare services.

The inspections we’ve carried out so far using our new approach are delivering a deeper insight into the quality and safety of services than ever before, as well as challenging and clarifying how providers are performing.

As we are really ‘getting under the skin’ of services, we are spending more time than we had anticipated originally on enforcement actions, follow-up inspections and on responding to concerns that have been raised with us. We are also in the process of continuing to recruit more inspectors to do this work.

It is important that our staff are trained and supported to carry out high-quality inspections, which result in robust judgements that the public can have confidence in. Our business plan sets out a revised timetable for our planned inspections to help us do this.

We now expect to complete our inspections of acute NHS trusts by the end of March 2016, acute specialist, mental health, community healthcare and ambulance trusts by the end of June 2016 (both previously December 2015), and our inspections of adult social care services and primary medical services by the end of September 2016 (previously March and April 2016 respectively).

This change gives us additional flexibility to get this important work right by digging deeper, re-inspecting as necessary, and responding when people raise concerns.

Also, within our business plan and its supporting publication, Shaping the future, we’ve set out our ambitions for how we will develop the regulation of health and adult social care in England. As new models of care are being developed, which will be designed around the reality of a person’s experience as opposed to how different services are structured, we are in a strong position as the regulator to comment on what good and outstanding care looks like, both nationally and locally. We will use our findings to help shape these models so that regulation is not a barrier to innovation and consider how we might need to adapt.

As the regulator, we have an important role to play in making sure health and adult social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, and high-quality care and to encourage services to improve. The priorities set out in our business plan outline how we will do that.

Its publication follows our board of non-executive directors approving our plan during its public meeting earlier this week. Listen again to the discussion.

Last updated:
29 May 2017