The Care Quality Commission is to appoint a deputy chief inspector of hospitals who will lead on mental health regulation and be tasked with “rooting out” failing services.
The CQC is looking to appoint a candidate with mental health expertise to the new post “as soon as possible”. The role will sit under Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals. Richards said that the appointment would strengthen CQC’s scrutiny of mental health services, including the monitoring of the rights of people detained under the Mental Health Act.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said he was “determined” that the CQC treated its oversight of mental health with the same level of importance as physical health care.
“The appointment of a new deputy chief inspector with expertise in mental health at the CQC is central to this because it will ensure that the same rigorous inspection standards are applied to mental health as other NHS services. A named individual will be responsible for leading specialist inspection teams which can highlight good care and root out poor services,” said Lamb.
The CQC also announced it will publish proposals on changes to the way mental health services are inspected next month.
CQC board papers published last month revealed that progress on developing the new mental health inspection model had lagged behind the development of a new inspection regime for acute hospital care, partly due to the high level of scrutiny of acute hospital care in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire inquiry and Keogh review.
Andy McNicoll is Community Care’s community editor