Opinions
17 Jun 2024

Transforming Care Quality: The CQC's New Single Assessment Framework

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), sets out his thoughts to us regarding the implementation of the new Single Assessment Framework so far and what improvements can be made. The following is based on a blog post published at the end of March, available on Medium.   

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CQC is changing. We've developed and introduced a new assessment framework that provides a single vision of quality for the whole health and care system. This framework draws heavily on our experience of regulation over the last decade, including lessons learned during the pandemic and our Key Lines of Enquiry.   

Our ambition for the new assessment approach is to use the data we collect more effectively, enabling us to more frequently update our view of quality across services and systems. This will give people who receive care and providers a clear view of the quality of care and areas for improvement.  

Transformation of this scale has required extensive planning and development. Over the last three years, we've worked with people who use services and the people who care for them to ensure that the new framework represents and supports individuals and their needs.   

At the same time, transformation of this scale is, of course, neither linear nor simple. We've taken a staged approach, and we're learning and refining through the feedback we receive from colleagues across health and social care.  

I'm confident that as we continue to assess services against the new framework and as our technology changes mature and become embedded, the strategic aims behind our transformation will be realised
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the CQC

We know how important it is for the public, providers, and stakeholders to share an up-to-date view of quality. Our new approach allows us to work in smaller packages over shorter time frames, working on and off-site, which providers will find less disruptive.  

Frequency of assessments  

We also know that providers are keen to understand the planned frequency of assessments. We're building that information using the feedback and data we gather during this transition period. We aim to publish timelines in the summer.  

Relationships with providers  

Another concern we're hearing from providers is that they will no longer have a dedicated relationship holder. Our new assessment team structure means there will always be someone you can contact and speak to with knowledge about your service. We are reviewing how this assessment team structure works in practice and will keep providers updated on any changes from this work.   

Clarity of guidance  

We heard that the website's guidance section needed to be more straightforward. We've created a new "guidance and regulation" landing page and an index page for assessment, setting out a clear running order and allowing providers to download all our assessment content from a single page.  

Provider portal  

Our new provider portal is now available.  We're continuing to work towards further improvements, such as developing how providers upload and share information with us, for a better experience.  

I'm confident that as we continue to assess services against the new framework and as our technology changes mature and become embedded, the strategic aims behind our transformation will be realised. These aims — regulation driven by people's needs and experiences, smarter regulation, safety through learning, and accelerated improvement - underpin everything we're collectively working for. 

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