CQC consults on new inspection regime

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is holding a consultation on its planned changes to the way substance misuse services are regulated. The aim is to ‘make sure that services are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led’, says the regulator.

The changes include areas such as how information is used, what CQC looks at as part of an inspection and what constitutes ‘good’ care, with CQC pledging to ‘focus on the issues that matter’ and ‘put people’s recovery at the heart’ (DDN, October 2014, page 4).

The consultation will run until 19 March, alongside pilot inspections, after which the regulator will publish its final handbook for providers ‘as soon as possible’. The new approach will be implemented from April, starting with standalone, independent services. CQC will then continue to ‘test the feasibility and scope of inspecting and separately rating substance misuse services offered by other providers – for example NHS mental health and acute trusts, and GP practices – throughout 2015,’ it says, ‘with a view to rolling this out once the current inspection cycle for these providers ends’.

‘We are proposing to take a more tailored approach to this complex sector and look at the issues that matter to it,’ said chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards. ‘We will use inspectors with further training about substance misuse services in our inspection teams and we want to make sure we ask people who are receiving care about their treatment.’

Consultation at