National Care Association having reflected on the widespread concerns of its members about the performance of the Care Quality Commission wrote to the Minister Paul Burstow at the beginning of June identifying what the Association believes has gone wrong in the last 18 months and suggesting some first steps to begin to restore the confidence of social care providers in the regulator.
The letter was signed by the Chairman of National Care Association and the Chief Executive.
The Chairman Nadra Ahmed OBE said today: “All responsible providers want a robust and challenging regulator but also one that is a critical friend.
The broadcast of the Panorama programme and the disclosure that CQC has 300 staff vacancies have added to the view of so many within the social care provider sector of a failing organisation.
Having reflected and consulted with our members on what they believe has gone wrong in the last 18 months we have identified 3 key issues:
There does not appear to be a strategic direction towards social care within CQC and our members believe that the regulator is “health led”.
There are six members of the Board of CQC and only the Chairman would seem to have experience of Social Care. The other five Board Members are from a health or related background. It cannot be expected within the normal workings of a Board that the Chairman would be able to take a strong lead with regard to social care.
National Care Association believes that although the Care Quality Commission carries out consultations these are not consultations that hear and react to what the provider sector is saying and particularly the private sector. The independent social care sector is a sector which believes its voice is not heard by the regulator.
Much has been made about the regulations being the same for health and social care but that cannot realistically be the case. The outcomes should be the same but the delivery is different and that must be recognised.
National Care Association proposes that the following action is instigated by the Government immediately:
The social care sector needs to be separated away from health within the Care Quality Commission and then to be led by officers who are experienced in the work of social care.
The Board of the Care Quality Commission needs to be strengthened with more Social Care expertise including from a stakeholder in the private sector.
Strategic Direction in the Social Care field needs to be given to the Care Quality Commission by a Committee made up of representatives from stakeholder groups (this committee needs to reflect the fact that the majority of social care is provided by the private sector).
It is essential that the sense of disarray that providers have about the regulator at this time is addressed without delay.”
Source National Care Association