Recommendation 234

General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council joint working with the Care Quality Commission

Accepted
Both the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council must develop closer working relationships with the Care Quality Commission – in many cases there should be joint working to minimise the time taken to resolve issues and maximise the protection afforded to the public.

The General Medical Council has been working closely with the Care Quality Commission to build on its Memorandum of Understanding. Similar close joint working has also started with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The Care Quality Commission and General Medical Council have already reviewed their joint working arrangements to improve information sharing, allow evaluation and tracking of how information is used, and plan coordinated or joint inspections and visits. These arrangements were published in July 2013.

The Care Quality Commission and the Nursing and Midwifery Council began a similar review during September 2013, to develop a similar joint working protocol by December 2013.

The Care Quality Commission issued Raising Standards, putting people first – our strategy 2013-16 in February 2013. This set out the Care Quality Commission’s plans for the next three years and made clear that it would  work more closely with its partners in the health and social care system to improve the quality and safety of care and co-ordinate work better, including working with other regulators and organisations that manage and oversee the health and social care system to identify and act on the public’s concerns.  This was reinforced in June 2013, when the Care Quality Commission issued its consultation document  A new start – Consultation on changes to the way CQC regulates, inspects and monitors care. This recognised the need to coordinate with existing visits and inspections to minimise duplication and overlap, for example through joint visits and re-use of each other’s findings

Update

The Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Care Quality Commission renewed their Memorandum of Understanding in December 2013; this is now supported by a clear joint working protocol for staff of both organisations. The Nursing and Midwifery Council is conducting an internal quality assurance exercise looking at activity under the new Memorandum of Understanding and the learning will inform next steps for improving partnership working.

The General Medical Council has developed an Operational Protocol with the Care Quality Commission and both organisations will agree a joint approach to its evaluation.  An interim evaluation report will be published in March 2015. Initial feedback from staff in both organisations indicates that the Protocol is working well.

Between 09 April and 04 June 2014, the Care Quality Commission consulted on how it planned to change the way it regulates, inspects and rate care services. The changes include things like:

  • What the Care Quality Commission look at on an inspection.
  • How the Care Quality Commission judge what ‘good’ care looks like
  • How the Care Quality Commission rate care services to help people judge and choose care if they want to.
  • How the Care Quality Commission use information to help decide when and where to inspect.

The Care Quality Commission has also published consultation handbooks for seven types of provider (see recommendation 14). In July 2014, the Care Quality Commission published a consultation on guidance for providers meeting the fundamental standards and on the Care Quality Commission’s enforcement powers. The consultation closed on 17 October 2014. The Care Quality Commission is considering the responses and will publish its new guidance prior to April 2015.