The new Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections will determine whether services are:

  • safe
  • caring
  • effective
  • well led
  • responsive to people’s needs

This replaces the current system, which relies on 16 core standards with which services are either compliant or non-compliant.

The inspection teams are also being changed to ensure they include experts in the care sector – to date the CQC has relied on general inspectors – and members of the public with first-hand experience of the system.

The inspections will start in autumn 2014 with the aim that each of the 25,000 care homes, nursing homes and domiciliary care agencies will be inspected by March 2016.

There will be new CQC chief inspectors and similar appointments have been made to cover GPs and hospitals. The CQC can issue warning notices, fines and even close down services if they are failing.

Other Changes

The CQC will also:

  • monitor the finances of 50-60 care home providers that would be difficult to replace if they were to go out of business (subject to the Care Bill – a change relating to the care and support for adults – becoming law).
  • take tougher action on services that do not meet standards, particularly those that do not have a registered manager in place.
  • check that services that are applying to be registered have the right values, motives, ability and experience to provide care to people.
  • discuss the risks and potential benefits of mystery shoppers and hidden cameras to monitor care, and whether they could contribute to promoting a culture of safety and quality while respecting people’s privacy and dignity.
  • encourage residential homes to get more involved in their local community.
  • work with local Healthwatch to get its views on care homes in the community.

What Next? 

The CQC plan to discuss and explore their plans with the public, including people who receive care, their carers, social care services, our own staff and more. This will be followed by a consultation in spring 2014.