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Future of CQC health and care system reviews in doubt

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Care Quality Commission teams which carried out reviews of health and social care systems have been disbanded after the government failed to respond to the regulator’s request for clarity on the programme’s future.

The reviews were expected to be recommissioned for 2019 but have now been put on hold after health secretary Matt Hancock failed to provide clarity on the programme’s future.

In a letter to the Commons health and social care committee last week, director of engagement at the CQC Chris Day revealed that Mr Hancock did not formally respond to letter a letter from CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm requesting confirmation on the next stage of the programme.

This was despite the CQC previously receiving “strong indications” from the Department of Health and Social Care that further reviews would be commissioned, Mr Day wrote.

He added: “We understand that there is no scope for further funding in this financial year and the department wishes to make decisions about the future of the programme after the adult social care green paper is finalised. We have as a result been forced to disband our dedicated LSR team due to a lack of funding from the DHSC to continue the programme.”

Mr Day described this as a ”disappointing outcome” as the programme “could help ensure the NHS long-term plan and any future adult social care reforms have a demonstrable impact for people who use services”.

The overall cost of the 23 reviews was £2m.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “We are grateful for the CQC’s work so far and discussions are ongoing about next steps.”

In September last year DHSC, under former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, commissioned the CQC to continue the reviews.

Outgoing CQC chief executive David Behan in May praised the reviews for bringing “the oxygen of transparency”.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • I do question if they were worthwhile. The nature of the reviews was very different to the usual single service inspections CQC conduct and I think it took a while for the complexity of local systems to be understood. £2m also seems a lot for findings which seem to have been cut and paste from one report to the next - and while not even attending some of the health and wellbeing boards of the systems that were being reviewed! That's without even touching on the supposed quality assurance role of NHS England.

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