The CQC has issued an update on its future regulatory approach, outlining changes that will take effect from April, and what they mean for providers from all sectors.
The current risk-based approach to regulation will continue for hospital services, including independent health and mental health services, which means inspection activity will be where there is a clear risk to safety.
The CQC will also:
• Return to inspect and rate NHS Trusts and independent healthcare services that are rated as inadequate or requires improvement, or where new risks have come to light, and develop plans to review ratings for all hospital providers to make sure they are still appropriate based upon its latest assessment of risk
• Carry out some core service with well-led inspections of mental health Trusts and independent mental health providers
• Prioritise high risk independent healthcare services for inspection, for example, cosmetic surgery services, independent ambulance services, and those where closed cultures may exist
• Closely monitor how hospitals are ensuring robust infection prevention and control and carry out focused IPC inspections where it has concerns about a provider’s oversight of infection risk
• Conduct Mental Health Act (MHA) monitoring visits to ensure the rights of vulnerable people are protected
• Carry out focused inspection activity in emergency departments where its data monitoring and local intelligence indicates that increased pressure is having a direct impact on the quality and safety of care
• Roll out a programme of focused inspections of safety in NHS maternity services where data and local intelligence identifies concerns about the quality of care; these inspections will look closely at issues such as teamworking and culture, and experiences of staff and patients.