Care Quality Commission - Functions

Functions

The Act sets the new Commission's functions in assuring safety and quality, assessing the performance of commissioners and providers, monitoring the operation of the Mental Health Act and ensuring that regulation and inspection activity across health and adult social care is coordinated and managed.

It is hoped the new system will enable a joined-up regulation for health and social care, helping to ensure better outcomes for the people who use services. There are already many good examples of integrated health and social care delivery so the creation of a single regulatory system will fit with this.

Health and social care providers - including, for the first time, NHS providers - will be required to register with the new regulator in order to provide services (see below). The registration requirements that all providers must meet will be consistent across both health and adult social care and will be the subject of a forthcoming consultation. Focussing regulation on the levels of safety and quality that those who use services care most about will help ensure that patients, users and vulnerable groups are protected.

For staff working in provider organisations, the new regulatory system will provide a much clearer system of exactly which requirements they must meet in order to provide services. The risk-based approach means that regulation activity will be targeted where action is required.

The Act gives the Commission a wider range of enforcement powers along with flexibility on how, and when to use them. This will allow the regulator greater powers to achieve compliance with registration requirements - including requirements relating to infection control. The Commission will be able to apply specific conditions to respond to specific risks - such as requiring a ward or service to be closed until safety requirements met, as well as being able to suspend or de-register services where absolutely necessary.

Bringing the functions of the Mental Health Act Commission into the remit of the Care Quality Commission will strengthen the monitoring of the Mental Health Act, and offer increased oversight of the treatment of patients subject to compulsory detention.

In October 2010 the coalition government announced swingeing cuts to the world of quangos and ALBs. However, the Care Quality Commission was not only spared but has had its powers increased.

Read more about this topic:  Care Quality Commission

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