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As the risk of coronavirus recedes, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published an update for care providers about its evolving approach to monitoring.

During the height of the pandemic, the CQC developed its Emergency Support Framework (ESF).  The framework is a structured framework for the regular conversations that inspectors are having with providers and covers the following four areas:

  • Safe care and treatment
  • Staffing arrangements
  • Protection from abuse
  • Assurance processes, monitoring, and risk management

The ESF has been described as “an adaptation of our usual regulatory approach to the new reality.”

As the pandemic is receding however, the CQC chief executive, Ian Trenholm, talking about the CQC’s ‘evolving approach’ to monitoring said:

“From September we’ll be introducing a Transitional Regulatory Approach. This will be a flexible, iterative, approach that brings together the best of our existing methodologies with learning from our COVID-19 response, in a way that enables us to better deliver our purpose. Importantly this will include us visiting providers.”

The impact of the new ‘Transitional Regulatory Approach’ will have an impact on monitoring approaches by the CQC.  Mr Trenholm continued:

“From September we will develop our monitoring approach to capture a much broader range of topics as part of the monitoring process and use all the information available to us to present a clearer view of risk and quality.

“This means we will evolve the approach we developed through the ESF to look at more of the issues that matter to people. We will develop clear areas of focus for our monitoring, based on existing Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE) specifically targeting safety, access and leadership. We want to continue to iterate our areas of focus throughout the autumn and place greater emphasis on other areas, such as improvement cultures.”

On the issue of reintroducing onsite visits and inspections, he confirmed that

“…we are able to increase on-site activity, we’ll be widening our scope to include services where we have evidence that care needs to be improved as well as those services where we have evidence people may be at risk.”

Having said that though, Mr Trenholm confirmed that it is “unlikely” the CQC will return to its published frequency of inspections.

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Please contact us without delay if you are experiencing difficulties with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), inspection reports or issues with any other regulatory body or actions.