Report published 11 December 2015.
Scope of the inquiry
The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. Its purpose is to "make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care, and to encourage them to improve". It was formed in 2009 from the merger of three previous regulators.
The Committee looked at the Commission in 2012, reporting serious concerns about its governance, leadership and culture, and a failure to intervene quickly or strongly enough in failing providers. Shortly after, the Commission was further criticised by the Francis Report. The Commission responded by making substantial changes to its structure and leadership, and by developing a new regulatory model that strengthens the way it expects to monitor and inspect hospitals, adult care providers and GPs. Progress has been made in recruiting new staff, but there are not yet enough people to carry out all the Commission’s work.
The Department of Health has placed additional expectations on the Commission that increase risk to achieving its transformation strategy. From April 2015, the Department gave it responsibility for overseeing the financial sustainability of the largest adult social care providers, which it began before having in-house expertise fully in place. The Department announced in June 2015 that the Commission would also assess the financial efficiency of hospital trusts.
This inquiry assesses the substantial progress the Care Quality Commission has made in implementing the changes in its transformation strategy and how it is responding to its new responsibilities. It also scrutinises the Commission’s access to data and how it can improve indicators of its own performance.