The Department of Health and Care Quality Commission have said forthcoming reforms of adult care home inspections will address almost all of the issues raised in last October’s Focus on Enforcement review.
The government-commissioned review raised concerns about the effectiveness of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the bureaucratic burden on care home providers.
In a joint response to the review, the Department of Health and CQC said that the CQC’s three-year strategy would address all of the issues raised through measures such as the introduction of ratings for care homes and processes to ensure consistency in inspectors’ decisions.
The response also said that the changes will mean that local authorities will no longer need to assess the standards of care in homes, thereby reducing duplication in the system.
“Commissioners of adult social care should be confident that they can limit the focus of their assessments to areas not related to the standards of care already assessed and rating by CQC, thereby reducing unnecessary duplication and burden on providers,” said the response.
It added that work is underway to see how accreditation could help improve adult care homes but said that it was not yet clear if this would offer any benefits.
In answer to concerns raised in the review about the CQC not investigating complaints made by the public, the response said that while complaints did inform inspections, the CQC “is not able to settle formal complaints on behalf of individual”.
This, it said, is the duty of the care provider, relevant ombudsman and/or the professional regulator, except when there are formal complaints about how staff have exercised their powers under the Mental Health Act.