Care Quality Commission — toughening up on enforcement?

David Prior, chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was recently quoted in The Telegraph as having said that the CQC has too often ‘backed off’ from making attempts to close unsafe homes and ‘tended not to fight back’ when it was legally challenged. He is quoted as having vowed to be ‘much more robust’ in taking on poor providers of care. His comments go on to state: ‘What we are saying is we are on the side of the people in the home. And if that means sometimes bringing a case that is not legally watertight but we feel that it’s in the interests of the people living in the home then we will always do the latter.’

The CQC will begin to rate adult social-care services on a four-point scale of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate from this October. In 2013–14, 68 per cent of the CQC’s inspections were of care homes and other adult social-care services, as this remains the largest sector that the CQC regulates. The CQC’s commitment to take action where it identifies areas of concern is reflected in its statistic that it issued a third more warning notices to providers for not meeting national standards of quality and safety in 2013–14: 1,456 as compared with 910 in 2012–13.

As from 1 April 2015, 11 new fundamental standards will come into force for all providers regulated by the CQC, including adult social-care providers. These are new clearer statements of the standards in the table below, which care should never fail. These are joined by two new regulations, on fit and proper person requirements for directors and on a statutory duty of candour…

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