People and their families who use a range of different health and social care services could in the future learn more about what the quality of care is like across a whole local area as part of a new pilot project being launched by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Called 'Quality of Care in a Place', CQC has selected Greater Manchester – including a more in-depth look at Salford and Tameside – and North Lincolnshire for a special pilot exercise that will test out how well coordinated health and care services are in local areas.
By using the results of inspections CQC has carried out, together with other intelligence from local and national organisations, the project will assess whether bringing together knowledge about the quality of care of a whole place can help to encourage providers of health and social care to make improvements locally, and tell people more about how well their local services work together.
The pilot will also specifically look at the experiences of the elderly and people needing mental health care to see whether analysis of different population groups is helpful in building a picture of the system as a whole.
CQC is committed to looking at ways in which the regulation of health and social care can reflect greater integration of services. The findings of the 'Quality of Care in a Place' pilot will feed into the regulator's strategy for the next five years, which CQC is currently developing.
CQC's Chief Inspector of General Practice and Integrated Care, Professor Steve Field, said:
"One of the most important things we can do as a regulator is to be clear and transparent about the picture of health and social care.
"We already know what an valuable source of information our published reports with ratings are for members of the public. Our new 'Quality of Care in a Place' pilot is really about increasing that level of openness even further by building a picture of what the whole quality of care is like for people living in a particular area – including how well services are co-ordinated.
"As well as identifying any issues that need to be tackled across different organisations and finding out more about health inequalities, we will also use the pilot to highlight examples of good practice that other areas can learn from.
"I'm really pleased we are able to start testing out such an important piece of work that could also tell us more about what impact key issues such as quality of leadership and commissioning have on the quality of care across a local area."