There will be more Care Quality Commission led prosecutions once the new fundamental standards are brought in next April, Neil Grant writes

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There has been an endless swing of the pendulum between perceived excessive regulation and insufficient regulation, the former linked to arguments about cost to business, and the latter to the care scandals that emerge every few years.

What we need now is effective regulation at the right level.

The growing CQC

CQC’s remit has grown substantially to 40,000 services in total, including NHS providers, GPs and dentists.

To its credit, CQC has brought everyone in to a common system. It is hoped that we’ll have a period of stability after lots of changes over the last decade.

‘If you feel your rating is unfair, you must challenge it as soon as practically possible’

This set of slides provides a summary of the CQC inspection reforms, the updated ratings system and the steps that providers should be taking to adapt to the changes.

In relation to the ratings, the slides show how an arbitrary, rules based system can lead to very different, nonsensical outcomes. 

They also cover the fundamental standards that are due to come in for all registered providers from April 2015.

Significantly, CQC will be taking on the lead prosecutor role for health and safety incidents in healthcare settings from next April which is likely to lead to far more CQC led prosecutions.

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At the conference, I advised providers to give active consideration to challenging CQC on their ratings and the underlying facts and judgements: “The key take away from this day is that if you feel your rating is unfair, you must challenge it as soon as practically possible.

“All that is left is to await the next set of reforms. The reality is that any change leads to more problems and any problems lead to new changes - it’s the vicious cycle of regulation.”

Neil Grant is a partner of Ridouts LLP