The way that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects and regulates services is changing. Mei-Ling Huang, partner in the social care team at Royds Withy King, gives us her view on the proposed changes.
The CQC plans to create one model for all types of services (social care, healthcare, and local authorities). However, using a ‘one size fits all’ approach has created problems in the past. It remains to be seen whether the CQC will get it right this time.
One of the CQC’s aims is to streamline the process of awarding ratings. It appears that The Mum Test (simply put: ‘is this service good enough for my Mum?’) is well and truly gone. While the five key questions remain (namely: are they safe? are they effective? are they caring? are they responsive to people's needs? are they well-led?), the focus continues to shift away from a holistic assessment of outcomes for people toward a numerical methodology. The CQC intends to whittle down the number of questions it asks and the evidence it gathers; it is moving away from narrative descriptions, the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs), prompts, and ratings characteristics.
Instead of the KLOEs, the assessment framework will be based on “I” statements that illustrate what those people receiving care expect and need. Similarly, the standards against which providers will be judged will take the form of “we” statements.
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