Agenda item

Care Quality Commission


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities, which provided Members with a brief overview in respect of the guidance provided by CQC in relation to how overview and scrutiny committees could effectively work with CQC.  It also provided a brief summary of the new proposals announced by CQC in October 2013 for a new system of monitoring, inspecting and regulating social care services and for monitoring performance ratings.


The Board was advised that nationally, the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) had been supporting joint learning between the Council scrutiny and CQC assessment staff for a number of years and this would continue into 2014.


It was reported that in 2011, working with some Local Authority Officers and Councillors, the CfPS produced two practical guides for use by local Councillors and Overview and Scrutiny Committees (attached as Appendix 1 and 2 to the report). These guides outlined details in relation to the role of CQC and what overview and scrutiny committees could expect from CQC locally to improve care.  They also explained what information could be shared with them to help check on services.


The Board noted that in June 2013, the CQC had introduced a bi monthly e-bulletin for Overview and Scrutiny Committees which included updates and findings from their work, including details of CQC’s strategy, national reports and information on the ways that Committees could work with them.  The latest e-bulletin (November 2013) was attached as Appendix 3 to the report.


The Board was advised that further details in relation to the proposals in terms of ratings, registration and inspection etc was attached as Appendix 4, to the report.  The Board noted that some of the proposals would only become clear when more ‘flesh was put on their bones’.


Furthermore, it was reported that CQC would be carrying out formal consultation on the proposals in Spring 2014, some changes would be introduced from April 2014 and tested in Summer 2014. All the changes, including new ratings of care providers would be in place from October 2014 (subject to enactment of the Care Bill). Advance publication of the proposal provided an opportunity for Local Authorities to develop their thinking and consult their local community, including service users, carers and service providers on the proposals and on ethical issues arising from them.


The following comments arose from the discussion:-


·            It was noted that previously the Local Authority had owned the care homes and had been able to visit them on an adhoc basis and if they establishment did not meet the requirement standards, the Local Authority were able to close them down.  However, it was noted that as they were now private establishments this was no longer possible.  It was reported that the Quality Assurance Team closely monitored the establishments and Local Inspectors undertook regular visits to ensure that the care service met the required standards;


·            It was noted that the CQC produced monthly bulletins and that local area profiles were available.  It was suggested that Officers obtained a copy of the profiles;


·            It was agreed that a topic group be established to look at care intervention – to review homecare, what access individuals had to their GP, to identify what services they received at home and whether any providers were hired on a zero contract or were paid below the minimum wage; and


·            It was agreed that the lead officer would commence a dialogue with the CQC and invite them to attend a future meeting of the Board.


RESOLVED: that the report, associated appendices and comments raised be noted.

Supporting documents: