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Reducing the administrative burden on providers

25 November 2013
  • Public

The Government announced as part of its response to the Francis Inquiry on 19 November the launch of a Reducing Burdens Concordat.

The Concordat asks the Department of Health and its Arms-Length Bodies to reduce unnecessary burden on the NHS by only collecting data that is proportionate and has a clear business purpose. It also asks them not to duplicate other data collections but to work through the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) as the national base for all data and to review regularly the need to collect the data.

CQC is a signatory to the Concordat and welcomes the core principles to reduce unnecessary administrative burden on providers.

Access to high quality information

We believe that there should be much greater emphasis on the importance of access to high quality, timely information as a driver of good care which is not, in itself, a burden. A commitment from all parts of the system, including providers, to this over-arching principle would be very helpful.

We also welcome a move away from commitments that imply a reduction in cost and burden is by definition a good thing. For example, at CQC we intend to raise the profile and importance of systematic clinical audit across all specialties.

Equally, accurate, validated ward-level safety data available to the public on a monthly basis is of significant value. For trusts that are not doing either of these comprehensively, there is likely to be a cost and perceived ‘burden’ increase which we believe is proportionate to the insight gained.

CQC would therefore welcome, and sign up to, commitments that are about ensuring that data collected has been through a robust ‘value’ test, that it is collected in a way which minimises cost and burden to the front line, and that there is a baseline for the total information requirement on providers that is tracked. We would encourage our partners in the system to work together with providers to develop this ‘value test’.

Online services

We recognise that CQC must contribute to the lessening of any existing burden and our detailed plan for the next 12 months focuses on our Online Services initiative. Providing a positive step change in customer experience is at the centre of the Online Services Programme.

Transforming the customer experience drives many benefits, including improvements in data quality by significantly reducing errors and rejections and efficiencies in application processing.

To date we have launched Online Services for the registration of GPs and have piloted death notifications, which providers are required to send us. Services and tools are now in place for all GPs and we have processes in place to monitor, inspect and adapt services to drive improvements in these services.

We have established the core architecture for extending and scaling these to all sectors in 2014 so that the benefits we have realised for GPs can be recognised across all other sectors we regulate.

Last updated:
29 May 2017