CQC to assess impact of recession on quality of care

The Care Quality Commission will conduct an assessment of the impact of the economic downturn on the quality of social care and health, it announced today.

It will examine how commissioners and providers are planning to maintain quality now and in the longer-term, by improving value for money.

It is one of seven special reviews or studies the CQC will be conducting in 2009-10 into different aspects of social care and health. The other six, which were all proposed in a consultation paper published last December, will cover:-

  • How councils are responding to people’s first contact with them in adult social care.
  • How the healthcare needs of care home residents are met, including whether they have the same access to NHS care as other people.
  • How the physical health needs of people with learning disabilities and mental health problems are met in hospital and residential settings.
  • Health and social care provision for families with disabled children.
  • The care pathway for people who have had a stroke and their carers.
  • How health inequalities are being tackled.

The CQC said it was yet to decide which of the topics would be handled as a “review” – involving assessment of local services – and which as a “study” – providing a national picture only.

It also confirmed that it would be publishing a single report on the state of health and social care across England, in January 2010, after this was overwhelmingly backed in the consultation process. This will also cover its responsibilities – inherited from the Mental Health Act Commission – to monitor the welfare and rights of patients detained under the Mental Health Act.

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