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CQC wants ‘partnership’ with healthcare providers in new ‘lighter touch’ approach

The CQC has said that it wants to have a ‘partnership’ with healthcare providers as part of a move towards a ‘more mature model’ of regulation.

Speaking today at the Westminster Health Forum on the next steps for regulation, the CQC’s strategy lead, Sarah Bickerstaffe, told delegates that the regulator needs to move towards new ‘lighter touch’ format of regulation.

She added that there is now scope within the CQC’s remit to develop its inspection approach, and will now look to ensure providers feel that ‘things are being done with them rather than to them.’

The CQC’s new vision of a ‘lighter touch’ approach to its regulation was first mooted last month by its chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field, when he said that resources could be better spent on inspecting services that aren’t as good in order to encourage improvement.

Professor Field’s comments were aligned with the CQC’s launch of a new pilot last month, which will trial ‘place based inspections’ of GP practices.

The regulator’s new ‘quality of care in a place’ pilot will look to assess ‘whole health systems’ in northern England initially – as part of a step towards the regulator focusing on whole areas to see why practices are performing poorly.

But despite Professor Field’s suggestion to plug more resources into practices which ‘aren’t as good’ – and therefore a lighter touch to its regulation – he did add that there would be no major change to GP inspections before all practices have been rated once.

However, the CQC’s strategy lead Sarah Bickerstaffe confirmed today that the CQC does want to move towards to a more lighter touch approach to regulation – making comparisons to Denmark’s regulatory model.

She added: ‘We think there is scope now to move towards a more mature model – so three years ago there wasn’t an agreed definition of the word quality as there is now, and our previous strategy was really a case for change and moving from what was seen as a widely discredited model to one that has more acceptance now, and we think there is scope there to move further forward.

‘In Denmark for example, they created their first quality framework in 1993, and so they’re only now thinking about moving to a lighter touch approach.

‘So I don’t think we are there yet, but I we do want to move in a direction where we feel that we have a partnership with providers so that they feel that things are being done with them rather than to them, whilst at the time being able to respond to risk and being on the side of people using services.’

Readers' comments (12)

  • we just had our latest visit.

    the inspector was rude as can be and left my PM in tears.

    light touch my sweet derrier.

    the CQC IS one of the defining reasons that general practice is down the pan at the moment.

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  • whilst an advocate of CQC initially, my recent experience with them to change practice registration and problems I have had with DBR, have completely changed my views of the ability of this organisation to hold others to account. I found then invisible, unapproachable, internal structures completely fragmented, no mechanism internally to address concerns other then the complaints process, and no mechanism for us to question any aspect of their work. They appear to be a law onto themselves and will not allow any aspect of their work to be questioned. They are not well led, they are not responsive to need, their approach to working with us is authoritarian (command and control), about as far removed from partnership with providers as one could get. They will not meet face to face is problems arise, and will only allow access through their customer services. Any change to this way of working with providers would be a welcome improvement. I do not feel at all confident in their ability to hold my practice to account at the moment.

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  • Not fit for purpose. Prof Field's army of clipboard weilders are killing GP by stealth.

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  • CQC moving to Denmark would be a good move.

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  • It is we, the GPs, who " are on the side of the people using services". Nobody should have any doubt about that !!

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  • Vinci Ho

    GPs are people's doctors.
    Against GPs , against people.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Vinci Ho what is that even meant to mean?

    Even Batman tried to make sense.

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  • Vinci Ho

    You see .
    The Dark Knight with irritable bowel syndrome.
    Probably because of the Buscopan I took yesterday. Didn't 'smoke' it though......

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  • It is impossible for a White Elephant to have a light touch.

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  • Those who can do - those who cannot work for CQC!!!! Trouble is they can and do so much damage it is scary. We got picked up on non clinical risk assessments so I am doing one for if we run out of toilet paper - that is how stupid these so call checks are!

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