With effect from 31 October 2017, the Care Quality Commission (Reviews and Performance Assessments) Regulations 2014 will be amended to empower CQC to inspect and rate a wider range of independent healthcare providers. The affected providers are those offering:
- certain types of cosmetic surgery services
- transport services
- dialysis services
- refractive eye surgery services
- substance misuse services
- termination of pregnancy services.
In terms of CQC’s approach to inspecting these providers, CQC says “We will be developing our approach to how we will rate these additional services in consultation with the public and providers in the New Year“. So, although it is not clear yet how the newly regulated providers will be rated, it is expected that they will, like all CQC regulated providers, be expected to comply with the ‘Fundamental Standards’. These are defined by CQC as “the standards below which your care must never fall” and cover the areas of:
- Person-centred care
- Dignity and respect
- Safeguarding from abuse
- Food and drink
- Premises and equipment
- Good governance
- Fit and proper staff
- Duty of candour
- Display of ratings.
Since receiving new prosecutorial powers in April 2015, CQC has been using these robustly and CQC enforcement action rose 75% in the 2016/17 year (1,910 actions compared with 1,090 in 2015/16). If this trend continues, it’s likely we will see further increases in 2017/18 and 2018/19 as the additional providers become subject to the CQC regime.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you need help responding to any form of CQC enforcement action.