This discussion paper sets out priorities for transforming how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will monitor, inspect and regulate care homes and other adult social care services, with a greater focus on public involvement and improvement. Key proposals include awarding ratings to every care home and adult social care service by March 2016 to help people make informed decisions about their care and establishing expert inspection teams involving people who have experience of care services.
Inspections of adult social care services will be structured around the five key questions that matter most to people – are the services safe, caring, effective, well-led and responsive to people’s needs. CQC will explore what each of these means for the adult social care sector. CQC intends to rate care services as outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate, so that the public has clear information about services. As part of these changes, CQC will explore how its ratings can encourage services to improve and how they can influence the timing of future inspections. Other proposals include:
- From April 2015 and subject to the Care Bill becoming law, CQC will monitor the finances of an estimated 50 to 60 care providers that would be difficult to replace if they were to go out of business.
- CQC will take a tougher stance when registering care services by ensuring that those who apply to run them have the right values, motives, ability and experience. Also, CQC is committed to taking tougher action against services that do not have registered managers in place.
- CQC will discuss the risks and potential benefits of mystery shoppers and hidden cameras to monitor care, and whether they could contribute to promoting a culture of safety and quality, while respecting people’s privacy and dignity.
- CQC will encourage those providing care in residential homes to explore how they can be involved in the local community and will work with Healthwatch to get its views on care homes locally.