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Annual report 2019 to 2020 - Performance report

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The performance report consists of three sections:

Foreword from CQC’s Chair and Chief Executive

Throughout 2019/20, we were focused on delivering the final year of our five-year strategy, while laying the foundations for the future. Our priority has always remained the safety and wellbeing of people who use health and social care services.

We made progress towards building a more targeted, responsive and collaborative approach to regulation, with our aim for more people to get high-quality care.

That central theme of collaboration has been a driver in our work, as we look to transform the way we work so that our regulation can support the needs of people where it is most needed, and we are ready as an organisation to regulate with new kinds of care provision as they emerge.

Our work to achieve these aims has inevitably been affected by the global coronavirus pandemic that has impacted all of our lives, professionally and personally. COVID-19 is the greatest public health crisis the world has seen in 100 years, and the challenges it has posed to the NHS, to national and local government, and to health and social care providers have been unprecedented.

Throughout the pandemic, our regulatory role has not changed – we have continued to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care. Our core purpose to keep people safe has been at the heart of all decisions we have made.

During the early stages of the pandemic, we moved quickly to adapt how we regulate and work within the health and care system. We paused our routine inspection programmes for services and diverted our resources in a supportive and responsive way for providers. We also redeployed some of our colleagues to the frontline of care services and supported the national calls for volunteers.

While routine inspections were paused, we never stopped regulating. We continued to respond to information from frontline health and social care professionals and carers, specifically safeguarding and whistleblowing alerts, and we carried out focused responsive inspections where there had been clear risks to the public.

We continued to analyse and respond to information from people who use services and their families, supported by our national campaign to increase the level of information we gather about the quality of care through our Give Feedback on Care. We also worked collaboratively with system partners to support informed decision making and respond to emerging issues at local, regional and national levels.

To support our monitoring of services we rapidly developed a number of new data collection and digital monitoring tools – the Emergency Support Framework (ESF) – which supported inspectors to understand where people may be at the greatest risk of unsafe care. The ESF supported structured and consistent conversations between inspectors and providers and enabled them to explore the stresses and challenged for care providers and for the wider care system.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in fundamental changes to the way that care is delivered, and we will need to be flexible and responsive in the way we regulate so we don’t stifle this innovation. The ESF is one example of how we have designed, tested and iterated new ways of working in a very short space of time. As we continue to assess the impact of the pandemic and take stock, we are in a good place to respond and adapt to a changing health and social care environment. We are taking our learning and building this into our transformation programme and our future strategy development.

We have made good progress in our ambition to make CQC intelligence-driven and we have shared our work on new ways of working with our partners and the wider system, playing our part in whole-system regulation.

We have invested in our people so that we are more connected as an organisation and better able to collaborate across teams. Our people have told us that this has made a positive difference in their jobs. It is part of our vision of an inclusive organisation that values difference – we want to be renowned as a great place to work.

In the coming months we will be having a conversation with the public, providers and stakeholders about our next strategy and how we can achieve our ambition to be a world class regulator, able to drive improvements in how people experience health and care, for a safer future.

Peter Wyman CBE DL

Ian Trenholm
Chief Executive

Last updated:
09 February 2021