CQC Chief Inspector’s Reflections on October
In the latest CQC e-newsletter, Andrea Sutcliffe reflects on four years as Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care and a number of significant publications released in October. She also discusses the importance of flu vaccinations for social care staff.
Andrea Sutcliffe writes...
October marked my fourth anniversary as Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care. This is the toughest, busiest job I’ve ever had but it remains a great privilege. Like so many people working across adult social care I am driven by the opportunity to make a difference for people using services, their families and carers.
Over these four years, I have observed the increasing confidence placed in CQC’s Independent Voice and the strengthening in our approach to regulation. It feels appropriate that October saw significant milestones in these areas.
State of Care
On 10 October we published State of Care, our annual assessment of health and social care in England. Our key message was a testament to the hard work of providers and their staff:
“Thanks to the commitment of staff quality has been maintained; but future quality is precarious as services struggle to cope with increased demand and the increasing complexity of demand.”
There were also important lessons about the importance of local collaboration to ensure that people receive joined-up care tailored to their individual needs. I really hope you will take the opportunity to have a look.
Local system reviews
We are focusing on local collaboration in 20 targeted reviews of local systems looking at how people move through health and social care and how services work together. This month we published the first of these reports, our reviews of Halton and Bracknell Forest. We found examples of a positive approach to maintaining people’s health and wellbeing in their own homes, with services designed for older people to keep them socially included, active and able to manage their long term conditions.
Our next phase of regulation
This month we also published the response to our second consultation on our next phase of regulation and the updated guidance for providers and inspectors. The changes that we will begin to make from 1 November 2017 are about evolution – not revolution. We are strengthening and simplifying our approach to improve how it works for everyone. You can read about the key changes in the special newsletter I sent to all adult social care providers.
Preparing for winter
The shortening days are a reminder that winter is on its way and now is the time to act on protecting ourselves and people using services from the flu. It is important that social care staff are protected with the flu vaccine to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to people using services, especially older people who are more vulnerable. I’m pleased that NHS England has announced measures to boost flu vaccination uptake amongst adult social care staff – we will write to you soon with details on who is eligible for a free flu vaccination and how providers can access this arrangement. We all know how nasty – and potentially deadly – the flu can be, so please do your bit to help people stay well this winter.
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