CQC publishes guidance on how health and care providers can meet the Government’s new care regulations

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published guidance on how the 46,000 health and adult social care providers and services across England can meet the Government’s new care regulations.

The new care regulations—called the fundamental standards—will take effect from April, and follow a public consultation that took place last summer to get people’s views. The CQC has also published what people told them and what has changed in response to their comments.

A key part of the enforcement policy is the ability for the CQC to prosecute providers for poor care without having to issue a warning notice first. Up until now, CQC has had to follow a staged process of enforcement, starting at the bottom of the scale, and so the new policy will allow CQC to act quickly in response to the seriousness of the concern.

Commenting on the regulations guidance and new enforcement policy, David Behan, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, said:

‘We now inspect services against the five key questions that matter most to people who use them: are they safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs, and well-led? This helps our inspection teams to identify good care.

‘When our inspection teams identify poor care, this guidance will help us to determine whether there is a breach in the new regulations and if so, what action to take. In some cases, this will mean we will use our powers to prosecute. We hope this helps providers in their preparations for April and to make sure that their services do not fall below acceptable levels of quality.’

Further guidance will follow in March, including how care homes, general practices, dental surgeries, private hospitals and other services can meet the ‘duty of candour’ and ‘fit and proper person’ requirements for directors. These will oblige providers to be open and honest when things go wrong and hold directors to account when care fails people.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 17 February 2015.

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