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Annual report

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Our annual report and accounts looks at what we have achieved in 2017/18, and the improvements and progress we have made. It also acknowledges the work we still have to do.

Annual report and accounts: 2017/18

At the heart of our work is our purpose and our commitment to act independently, to be on the side of people who use services, their families and carers.

At the mid-point of our strategy for 2016 to 2021, our annual report takes stock and reflects on what we have achieved, and where we need to focus to deliver on our priorities.

Our strategy sets out four priorities:

Priority 1: Encourage improvement, innovation and sustainability in care

We have seen an overall improvement in the distribution of ratings, with more services rated as good and outstanding compared with 2016/17.

Adult Social Care directorate
Hospitals directorate
Primary Medical Services directorate
(GP practice locations)

We have worked closely with providers that made substantial improvements to understand what they did to improve and what others can learn. We published what we found in a series of publications highlighting the improvement journey of acute trusts, adult social care services, mental health trusts and GP practices.

Our State of Care report and thematic reports have also highlighted and supported improvement in health and care.

We published our principles for regulating new models of care, and a report on the quality of online primary care, an area that is growing quickly.

Priority 2: Deliver an intelligence driven approach to regulation

Building on our solid baseline understanding of the quality of health and social care, we have started our next phase of regulation and will continue to be intelligence-driven in our approach.

This more targeted and tailored approach to regulation is underpinned by our investment in digital technology. Over the coming years, our digital programme will transform the way that we collect, process and share our data and information.

We have also started to explore how data science and advanced analytics can help us to more effectively use and analyse the data that we hold, and more accurately support regulatory decision-making.

Priority 3: Promote a single shared view of quality

We have made good progress in our work with partners to develop system-wide definitions of quality. Our next stage is to implement the actions outlined in each shared view.

Our local system reviews have given us a unique understanding of the challenges of local health and care organisations working together to meet the needs of individual people. Our national report, Beyond barriers, highlighted our findings and shared some good practice. It also identified opportunities for the system to collaborate better to drive improvement.

Priority 4: Improve our efficiency and effectiveness

Our financial performance continues to be good.

We have delivered within budget in each financial year and our operating expenditure has reduced by £16 million from the start of the spending review. We are currently forecast to achieve the required financial reductions by 2019/20.

Chart showing that our budget has reduced from £249m in 2015/16 to £230m in 2017/18. Indicative figures for 2019/20 are £217m for 2019/20

As we become more intelligence-driven, we are becoming more efficient in the way we deliver our inspection programme. Our funding has changed significantly during this time, with almost all chargeable activities now recovered through provider fees. This will be 100% by 2019/20, compared with 49% in 2015/16.

We set out our equality objectives for 2017 to 2019. We will have a strong focus in 2018/19 on how we make sure that equality, diversity and human rights become embedded in everyone’s day-to-day work, with a particular emphasis on improving race equality. We are pleased to have no gender pay gap at CQC, and we have seen positive changes in equality of work experience for disabled staff.

We will continue to find efficiencies and improve the speed at which we publish inspection reports. For our staff, we will focus on addressing staff workload pressures and improving how we manage change and communications.

Previous annual reports

You can read our annual reports from previous years on The National Archives website:

Last updated:
11 July 2018


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