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High Expectations for New Regulator

April 1, 2009

The new Care Quality Commission is launched today, drawing together the Healthcare Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection and Mental Health Act Commission. Expectations are rightly high.

Success will mean striking the right balance of risk-based inspection and user and carer involvement. More vital though is being able to bring down the barriers between health and social care and giving them equal weight so that future provision in areas such as care for the elderly (see our recent Never too Late for Living Report) has at least a chance to keep pace with galloping demographics and beat financial constraint through efficiency gains there for the taking.

Success on the front line will be putting a stop to the example used by Dame Denise Platt in her last speech as Chair of CSCI yesterday of an older person receiving care who received 26 different visits to her home in a single week.

A final and broader sign of success is perhaps harder to achieve than delivering services genuinely designed around the patient. Councils and health partners have made significant headway in developing close working partnerships, but recent cases prove that serious questions remain about accountability in health and social care. What does accountability do to avert malpractice and tragedy, and what role should it play when things go wrong? More on this from LGiU in the coming weeks…

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