The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been under extremely intense national scrutiny recently. Here we set out our response to their consultation: A New Start.
Overall we support the CQC's proposed new strategic direction, but we have some concerns that there is a broad public expectation that the CQC could and should be able to provide absolute assurance to the public that all health, mental health and social care services in England are safe and effective.
While it is undoubtedly essential that the CQC continues to develop, test and refine the most effective possible mix of regulatory activities to fulfil its role, it is important to accept that quality regulation can only be the third line of defence against serious quality failures, after frontline staff, boards and senior leaders of providers. The CQC should play a role in supporting these people working in the system, as well as assuring the public about the quality of care.