The CQC has revealed that its new chief inspector of primary care will ‘ideally’ have experience of general practice, stopping short of demanding it as an essential requirement.
The CQC’s advert for the role said the chief inspector will have ‘expert knowledge of health and social care’ and will be ‘ideally from a GP background’. The candidate ‘must inspire the trust and confidence of the public, the sector, stakeholders and ministers’. This comes at a time that the CQC is at the centre of a storm regarding the cover-up over its response to deaths at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.
The regulator has given candidates until 10 July to apply for the role, which will involve overseeing the inspection regime, leading a team of specialist inspectors and develop a ratings systems for practices. The remit of the chief inspector will be to assess the performance of all practices, out-of-hours and dental services in England, and ultimately make sure that fundamental standards of quality and safety are met.
The CQC has recently launched a public consultation, calling for views on what its fundamental standards – the minimum standards for all providers of health and social care – should be. They are also developing ‘expected’ standards to replace the current essential standards, including looking at whether practices are open at times convenient for patients.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced earlier this year that GPs should expect to face a ‘rigorous’ new inspection regime that would move away from ‘box-ticking’ and promote holistic general practice.and the chief inspector of primary care will be expected to lead a consultation translating the CQC’s ‘fundamental standards’ into the primary care inspection regime.
The CQC has already begun to recruit GPs, practice nurses and practices managers to accompany inspectors on visits.
The CQC has said it wants a candidate with experience in a national readership role, with outstanding strategic and communications skills, to be the public face of the CQC and ‘encourage a culture that valued rigour and challenge.’
The new chief inspector will be accountable for the following:
· Lead the system of primary care inspection for CQC.
· Work with CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals and Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care to promote the integration of care, ensuring that patients and service users have a smooth transition between services.
· Work with NHS England to ensure that an aligned approach is taken to monitoring and assessing the Primary Care Sector, that duplication is minimised and that there is an agreed approach to provider failure.
· Working with key stakeholders to develop a methodology for ratings of providers, producing an assessment of providers’ performance.
· Develop CQC’s risk based model, incorporating a rigorous intelligence-based approach to inspections of providers of primary care.
· Lead the involvement of specialist inspectors and experts by experience.
· Ensure CQC’s quality judgements are sufficiently rigorous to trigger escalation and to take regulatory action, working closely with other national regulators.
· Build key working relationships with Department of Health, NHS England, Members of the National Collaboration for Integrated Care and Support, Local Authorities, Corporate Providers, ADASS, NICE and other key stakeholders
· Be the public face of quality for CQC, engaging the public, Secretary of State and Ministers in the work of the CQC, securing their trust in the activities and judgements of the inspections team and ensuring intelligence and information from the public is fed into inspection decisions.
· Work with NICE on the development of quality standards for primary and integrated care and champion these standards with providers and local authorities and all relevant stakeholders on their programme of sector led improvement.
· Work with the other Chief Inspectors to ensure that CQC’s regulatory approach takes a system wide, integrated approach.
· Encourage a culture that values rigour and challenge.
· Contribute to the annual CQC State of Care report.