New Care Quality Commission Launched

A new regulator for the health and social care industry’s has come into existence. The new Care Quality Commission (CQC) replaces the existing regulator/inspectorate bodies of the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Commission.
Bringing the functions of the Mental Health Commission into the remit of the CQC will strengthen the monitoring of the Mental Health Act, and offer an increased oversight of clients subject to compulsory detention.

The CQC will be responsible for inspections and investigations in the care industry. The CQC will act as an independent adjudicator to make decisions about whether health and social care professionals should remain in practice. They will be responsible for intervening in the event of care providers failing to meet health, safety and quality requirements.

In the CQC’s interim manifesto, there is a promise to ensure quality and safety and stamp out bad practice. it promises a reduction in unnecessary burdens and bureaucracy and witness touch but fair actions to address problems. They want to ‘strive to improve public confidence in the health care and social care system…and protect the health, safety and welfare of those who use the health and social care services.’

All health and adult social care providers that come within the future scope of registration (this includes, for the first time, NHS providers) will be required to register with the CQC. In order to be granted registration, care providers will need to demonstrate that they can meet, or are already meeting, the registration requirements. To maintain their registration they will need to demonstrate an ongoing ability to meet the requirements.

However nothing will change for care providers in the future. Although CQC has become a legal entity, it does not take up its legal responsibilities until April 2009. The new organisation will have around 2500 staff with offices in London and across the English regions.

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