CQC to gain greater independence from government, says Jeremy Hunt

The Care Quality Commission is to gain greater independence from government, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

Hunt said he would relinquish several powers to intervene in the CQC’s activities through government amendments to the Care Bill.

Under the plans, the health secretary would no longer be able to direct which organisations the CQC should inspect, how it should carry out inspections and how it should write up its report.

In addition, the new posts of chief inspectors of hospitals, adult social care and general practice will be ensrhined in law, so they are made permanent. Andrea Sutcliffe – currently chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence – takes up her post as chief inspector of adult social care next Monday (7 October).

In a statement that weighed heavily on the proposals’ implications for health, rather than social care, Hunt said: “We will legislate in the Care Bill to give the CQC statutory independence, rather like the Bank of England has over interest rates. The welfare of patients is too important for political meddling and our new legislation will make sure ministers always put patients first.”

Improve your safeguarding practice

The Care Quality Commission’s national professional adviser for adult social care, Bill Hodson,  will be speaking on the future of the regulator at Community Care’s forthcoming conference on safeguarding adults in care homes and hospitals. Register now for a discounted place at the conference on 4 December in Birmingham.

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