The Public Accounts Committee will examine the Care Quality Commission on Wednesday 13 December 2017.
Scope of the inquiry
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It is sponsored by the Department of Health and inspects hospitals, adult social care providers, and primary medical services such as GPs.
A recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO) that sought to address problems identified by the NAO and by this Committee in the previous Parliament found that the CQC’s performance has improved. It has reduced staff vacancies and completed an inspection regime of 28,000 locations. However, there are outstanding concerns about the CQC’s information systems, and timeliness in publishing reports. Providers inspected by the CQC have some residual apprehensions about consistency of inspections, which CQC is trying to address by training staff.
The NAO also identified risks around the CQC’s plan to base more of its regulation activities around risk-based information and data, which would require good-quality and reliable digital systems. Delivering change like this whilst taking on new responsibilities increases risks to the organisation.
The Public Accounts Committee will ask representatives from the Department of Health and Care Quality Commission about improvements made within the CQC, outstanding risks and how they will be managed, and what has been learned from resolving the Committee’s previous concerns.