National Audit Office finds Care Quality Commission not value for money

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has so far not achieved value for money in regulating the quality and safety of health and social care, the National Audit Office (NAO) has concluded.

The NAO said the CQC has had a ‘challenging time’ in merging three former regulators and has faced ‘considerable’ transactional difficulties.

It said that the CQC’s budget is less than the combined budget of its predecessor bodies, although it has more responsibilities. The budget for health and adult social care regulation fell from £175m in 2008/9 to £164m in 2010/11, a reduction of 6.3%, it said.

But it added: ‘Although regulation is being delivered more cheaply, the CQC has not so far achieved value for money in regulating the quality and safety of health and adult social care.

‘It is not clear to us exactly where the balance of responsibility lies between the CQC and the DoH for failing to achieve value for money, but it is clear that responsibility is shared.’

The NAO also found that the timetable for registering health and adult social care providers set by the DoH did not allow time for the registration process to be tested properly and meant the process has ‘not run smoothly’.

It said the decision to postpone CQC registration of general practice has allowed the CQC time to engage with GPs at an early stage, streamline the application process, and develop online services to make registration quicker and more efficient.

But the NAO also recommended that the DoH and CQC should review the GP registration progress regularly and have a contingency plan in place if GP registration ‘does not go to plan’.

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower agreed that the CQC faced a ‘difficult task’.

She said: ‘Not everything has gone smoothly, but we have learned, reviewed what we do and made changes – often with support of others involved in health and social care.

‘We are a young organisation and we are still evolving - but I firmly believe that we are making real progress.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Five GP practices a week inspected by CQC during pandemic second wave

Five GP practices a week inspected by CQC during pandemic second wave

The CQC has inspected five GP practices a week in England since the second wave of...

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women, children and under-18s will not be recommended for routine COVID-19...

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

The second of two articles on audit during GP training looks at how the quality improvement...

GP training: Writing up an audit for your e-portfolio

GP training: Writing up an audit for your e-portfolio

In the first of two articles on how to write up an audit, a typical e-portfolio entry...

UK ups order of 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine by 2m doses

UK ups order of 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine by 2m doses

The UK has increased its order of the 95% effective Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to 7m...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...