This report by Manchester Business School and The King's Fund presents their emerging findings on research evaluating Care Quality Commission's (CQC's) new regulatory model for acute hospitals. The new model is an almost complete departure from the approach used by CQC in recent years. The key differences include larger inspection teams with greater expertise to enable more extensive and detailed fieldwork; organising inspections around eight defined core services; using a framework of five domains (safety, effectiveness, caring, responsive and well-led) and introducing a ratings system; and the production of much more detailed and comprehensive inspection reports. The report findings at this stage conclude that there are four main areas where further development of the regulatory model could bring real benefits. These are:
- Paying more attention to the quality of inspection team members, including their selection, training, deployment and performance appraisal.
- A need for somewhat more structure across many of the systems for inspection and the inspection process, in order to maximise the validity and reliability of inspection judgements.
- The processes for arriving at ratings of acute hospitals and core service areas need to be more transparent and defensible.
- A clearer process for ensuring post-inspection action and improvement need to be developed.