The Care Quality Commission is set to miss key inspection deadlines that it had already pushed back.

  • CQC admits it is falling behind on inspection timetable
  • The regulator had already pushed back its inspection deadlines earlier this year
  • Sluggish recruitment of inspectors one of the causes of the delays

According to papers presented at the CQC’s board meeting yesterday, if the regulator does not improve its productivity soon the targets “will not be recoverable”.

In March the CQC was forced to revise its targets for when it expected to have inspected all the providers under its remit, due to sluggish recruitment and a heavier than anticipated workload.

The regulator had originally planned to inspect all adult social care providers and GP practices by March 2016 and April 2016 respectively, but it pushed back both dates to 30 September next year.

Its pledge to inspect all acute trusts by December 2015 was revised to March 2016. Inspection of acute specialist, mental health, community and ambulance trusts was rescheduled to be complete by 30 June 2016.

David Behan

David Behan will present the next CQC board meeting with a plan to ensure all inspection work is completed

However, the CQC has revealed that its inspections are lagging behind the trajectories needed to hit most of the revised targets.

In adult social care it is on track to complete only 58 per cent of its targeted number of inspections by March next year.

For general practice it is projected to carry out just 45 per cent of its target by the end of 2015-16.

By July, the CQC had only carried out 42 hospital inspections against a target of 77, although it said it had a “clear timetabled plan” to hit the March 2016 target for non-specialist acute trusts.

The board papers said: “We are falling behind in our inspection programme, and if productivity does not improve soon, this will not be recoverable.”

Lower than expected recruitment and inspector productivity levels have been cited as the causes of the underperformance in adult social care inspections.

CQC chief executive David Behan said he would present a plan to the regulator’s next board meeting in October on how the “programme of inspection work can be delivered”.

CQC set to miss pushed back inspection deadlines