Jon Masters 22 July 2015

Staff shortages at CQC delaying inspections warns watchdog

Staff shortages at CQC delaying inspections warns watchdog image

Fresh findings by the National Audit Office show the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is still deferring target dates for inspecting health providers due to staff shortages.

The CQC has made progress since criticisms in 2011 and 2012 pointed to a lack of adequate staff, the NAO states in a new report published today. The commission hit its target of taking on another 300 inspectors before the end of April this year, but the independent regulator of health and adult social care services in England is still short of vital staff in other parts of its business, particularly among analysts, the NAO has found.

The CQC was heavily criticised by a range of bodies including the NAO, the Public Accounts Committee, the Department of Health and the Francis Report following a string of failures in the health and care services system.

The grounds on which it was criticised included weaknesses in strategic direction and leadership, insufficient skills and capacity, and failure to intervene quickly or strongly enough when health providers were found to be failing.

The Commission responded by making substantial changes to its structure and leadership, developing a new regulatory model aimed at strengthening the way it monitors and inspects hospitals, adult care providers and GPs.

The Commission has embarked on a recruitment drive for its new role, which since April this year has also included oversight of the financial viability of the 43 largest adult social care providers. The NAO has warned that there are not yet enough people to carry out all of the Commission’s work.

The CQC has begun its role of monitoring care providers’ financial sustainability without having in-house expertise in place, today’s report reveals. This follows the announcement in June 2015 that the Commission would assess the financial efficiency of hospital trusts.

Head of the NAO, Amyas Morse, said today: 'The Commission has made substantial progress in the face of sustained criticism and is developing a more intelligence-driven approach to regulation.

'Further challenges lie ahead for the Commission to demonstrate effectiveness and value for money. It now needs to build an organisational culture that gives its people the confidence, as well as the skills, to apply the regulatory model assertively, fairly and consistently.'

A perfect storm for care homes image

A perfect storm for care homes

Iain MacBeath, strategic director, health and wellbeing at Bradford City Council, looks at the challenges facing the adult social care sector.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Service Manager - Fostering - North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
North Essex Fostering are excited to be able to offer a Fixed Term Contract or secondment opportunity for a Service Manager post for the Fostering Tea England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Labour Group Political Assistant

Birmingham City Council
Up to £34,980
Are you confident dealing with the press, and providing political advice to senior local politicians? Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Conservative Group Political Assistant

Birmingham City Council
Up to £34,980
Are you confident dealing with the press, and providing political advice to senior local politicians? Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Internal Audit Manager

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£43,300 - £58,500 per annum
In this role you will supervise the delivery of work assigned to staff and partner providers and liaise closely with Senior Officers at... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 - £53,115 per annum
Are you an experienced Equality, Diversity and Inclusion specialist, looking for the opportunity to lead organisation wide change? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue