Plans to carry out fewer inspections in person of NHS and social care organisations are concerning, we have told the Care Quality Commission.
Healthwatch Reading and four other local Healthwatch have submitted a response to the CQC’s public consultation about the way it works.
The CQC is proposing that it reduces the number of ‘in person’ visits to inspect the safety and quality of services and instead do more ‘desk-top’ assessments. The CQC is the national, independent body that inspects and publishes ratings of services and has legal powers to take sanctions against failing organisations.
We told the CQC that while there was some data that could help to determine the quality of services ‘we also think that experienced professionally qualified inspectors and CQC ‘experts by experience’ (patients, service users and unpaid carers trained to participate in site visits) may often pick up on small signs in what people working in or using a service say to them that may signal a need for deeper investigation’.
We urged the CQC to publish evidence on the effectiveness of desk-top inspections.