CQC to hold talks on joining up health and social care

    The Care Quality Commission is set to hold discussions with stakeholders over the coming months on how it intends to encourage greater levels of joined-up care between health and social services.

    The pledge follows its first annual State of Care report, published this week, which found a lack of integration between the NHS and councils was hampering efficiency and quality of care.

    It said improved joint working on reducing hospital admissions for people aged over 75 could save up to £2bn a year in England.

    Improving joined-up working is a major theme of the CQC’s five-year strategy, which was published alongside the State of Care report on Wednesday.

    Maggie Kemmner, head of reviews and studies at the regulator, said: “We will be having a series of discussions [about joint working]. In the first instance these will be with the leaders of stakeholders about how we can take this forward.”

    The CQC has already proposed piloting joint inspections of councils and primary care trusts on how they are improving the integration of care as well as on adult safeguarding. The regulator also wants to work with the Department of Health to establish a joint outcomes framework with which to assess PCTs and local authorities.

    Its new registration system, which is being introduced this year, will mean all health and adult social care providers will be judged against the same standards of safety and quality.

    Other priorities in the five-year strategy include making sure care is person-centred, championing high-quality care and eliminating poor practice swiftly, and regulating effectively in partnership with other inspectorates.

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