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CQC publishes plans for assessment of social care

The Care Quality Commission is today publishing plans on how it will assess the provision and commissioning of health and adult social care in its first year.

Press Release - Care Quality Commission - 23rd June 2009

The Care Quality Commission is today publishing plans on how it will assess the provision and commissioning of health and adult social care in its first year.

Building on the work of predecessor regulators, the Commission is introducing an approach that assesses quality across health and social care as it moves towards a single registration system for providers of care in both sectors in 2010.

The approach features both periodic and special reviews and draws attention to how the sectors of health, mental health and adult social care work together. There will also be indicators that measure the outcomes for people and their experience of care.

Where the Commission's reviews reveal poor performance, it will work with commissioners, providers and other bodies to make sure services improve, while aiming to be equally prompt in recognizing quality and good practice.

In 2009/10 CQC will be carrying out three types of assessments: periodic reviews of commissioners, periodic reviews of providers and special reviews and studies, including an overarching State of health and social care annual report.

CQC chief executive, Cynthia Bower, said: ‘We recognise this transitional year brings significant regulatory reform and we will not overburden providers of care, councils and PCTs. But we do expect robust quality standards to be maintained and will continue to be rigorous in our scrutiny of health and adult social care services both in 2009/10 and beyond.

‘Before finalising our plans we consulted a range of stakeholders, including organisations throughout health and social care and people who use services.

‘Their feedback has influenced the design of our reviews. We look forward to working in partnership with them to help ensure that safe, effective, high quality care is available to everyone.'

* Assessment of those who commission services on behalf of local people (councils and NHS trusts)

In 2009/10, CQC will produce a score based on performance against existing indicators and national priorities and a score for financial management.

CQC will publish the results of the periodic reviews of primary care trusts as commissioners in early autumn alongside the results of periodic reviews of NHS providers to give a picture of the NHS as a whole system.

The Commission's review of councils will be published in November 2010 and presented and analyzed alongside the results for PCTs.

* Assessment of the providers of care (NHS trusts)

In 2009/10, the Commission's assessment will produce a score based on compliance with core standards, performance against national priorities and existing commitments and quality of financial management.

NHS trusts' applications for the new system of registration will start in January 2010. To enable a smooth transition To avoid confusion with this process, assessments against core standards will be based on a mid-year declaration and on other relevant information.

* Special reviews and studies

CQC's programme of special reviews will be informed by people who use services, their carers and families and will also involve people who provide or commission care. CQC has included a number of joint health and social care topics in the programme to examine the way the sectors work together. Topics include: how the healthcare needs of people in care homes are met; how well the health and social care pathway is working for people who have a stroke and their carers; health and social care for families with disabled children and young people and how the physical health needs of people with mental health needs and learning disabilities in hospital and residential settings are met.

* The annual state of health and social care report (to be published in January 2010)

CQC will also produce an annual State of health and social care report, similar to those produced by its predecessors. The report will detail the state of the health and social care sector, including its findings on the operation of the Mental Health Act.

June 2010