On the day briefing: CQC launches its new five year strategy
This briefing summarises the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) new five-year strategy from 2021, A new strategy for the changing world of health and social care, which combines its learning and experience over the past five years with contributions from its stakeholders and partners.
We are pleased to have engaged with CQC and fed into the development of its new strategy over the past year on behalf of trusts. This includes attending CQC’s stakeholder engagement events, providing feedback on its draft strategy, responding to its strategy consultation and its consultation on flexible and responsive regulation, and gathering trusts’ views on proposals set out in the strategy through our annual regulation survey.
CQC continues to build on its four thematic areas of focus within the new strategy: a focus on people and communities; smarter regulation; safety through learning; and collaborating for improvement. The strategy restates CQC’s commitment to ensuring health and care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care, and to encourage those services to improve.
- Running through each of the four areas of focus within the new strategy are two core ambitions, which are to assess local systems, and tackle inequalities in health and care.
- CQC outlines how it intends to build a culture among the public, health and care providers and wider partners that welcomes, values, and acts upon feedback. It intends to make it easier for people and their families to provide feedback on their experiences of care, and to identify better ways to gather experiences from a wider range of people. Assessments will include a measure of how services and systems encourage and enable people to speak up.
- CQC intends to move away from relying on set-piece inspections to assess quality, towards a more flexible and targeted approach. It will take a more dynamic approach to ratings, making greater use of data and sources of feedback to update ratings more often. This will be supported by new digital platforms that better integrate the data CQC holds, enabling more consistent interpretation.
- Assessments of safety will have a sharper focus on checking for open and honest cultures with learning and improvement at their core, and CQC will seek assurance that learning and improvement is the primary response when anybody speaks up. This will include CQC embodying and demonstrating a learning culture in its own relationships with providers. It will focus closely on settings with a greater risk of poor cultures going undetected.
- CQC will support systems to drive improvement in their local areas, and to assess how well they ensure equal and fair access to care, good experience, and good outcomes. It will strengthen relationships at a local level to promote collaboration on improvement. This increased focus on systems will be underpinned by legislative change under the forthcoming Heath and Care Bill.
- CQC will focus on identifying gaps that exist in improvement support and facilitate national improvement coalitions across a broad spectrum of partners. These will include people who use services, and will build on existing partnerships and programmes rather than duplicate efforts. It intends to support providers and systems to help themselves while retaining its strong regulatory role.
- CQC outlines twelve outcomes it intends to achieve by delivering its strategy. The outcomes align with the four areas of focus, and the two core ambitions of assessing local systems and tackling inequalities in health and care.