• Support among staff for CQC leadership team fell during year, survey shows
  • Proportion of staff who would recommend CQC as good place to work also fell
  • Watchdog currently undergoing change programme to invest in technology

Support for the Care Quality Commission’s senior leadership has fallen by 9 percentage points in a year, according to a new snapshot survey.

Just over a third (35 per cent) of employees at the watchdog believe the executive team, including chief executive Ian Trenholm, provide “clear direction and leadership”.

This is down 9 percentage points on 2018, with 40 per cent of this year’s respondents neither agreeing or disagreeing, while 18 per cent disagreed and 7 per cent strongly disagreed.

The proportion of staff who would recommend the CQC as a good place to work fell 6 percentage points in the year, with 54 per cent positive about the regulator. Five per cent strongly disagreed they would recommend the organisation.

The negative responses come as the CQC pursues a change programme to invest in technology and new digital solutions but at the expense of spending elsewhere.

In April, HSJ revealed it was to cut its five directorates by 10 per cent and reduce its hospital inspection teams to release £12m transformation funding.

The pulse check staff survey was carried out ahead of the CQC’s full annual staff survey to assess the response of staff during the period of change.

Positive findings included:

  • Just over three-quarters (77 per cent) of staff saying they understood why the CQC was changing;
  • A similar proportion (72 per cent) having regular conversations with managers and teams about changes; and
  • Staff were positive that IT improvements, communications, access to information and developing quality improvement capabilities would help them to do a better job.

In total, 49 per cent of staff said they were better informed about changes that were happening, although a quarter were neutral with another 26 per cent disagreeing.

A spokeswoman for the regulator said: “The executive team recognise there is more work needed to connect with colleagues and understand their concerns in these areas, and have put in place additional opportunities for colleagues to discuss these. The issues raised will be explored in more detail in our full staff survey.”