Recommendation 47

Overview and scrutiny committees and foundation trust governors

Accepted
The Care Quality Commission should expand its work with overview and scrutiny committees and Foundation Trust governors as a valuable information resource. For example, it should further develop its current ‘sounding board events’.

The Care Quality Commission has taken steps to engage overview and scrutiny committees and foundation trust governors, to increase their input to its new approach to inspection and monitoring.

All overview and scrutiny committees now receive a two-monthly bulletin from the Care Quality Commission to update them on work and encourage feedback from their scrutiny reviews and activity. Each overview and scrutiny committee has received a welcome letter from Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals. Local trusts being inspected under the Care Quality Commission’s first wave of new in depth inspections have received a second letter inviting them to the public listening events and encouraging specific feedback about the trusts.

The Care Quality Commission has put in place a contract with the Centre for Public Scrutiny to further develop information sharing and relationships with overview and scrutiny committees across the regions. A sounding board of overview and scrutiny committees was held in August 2013, which included encouraging committees to access the Care Quality Commission’s local data to inform their scrutiny work programmes.

The Care Quality Commission and Monitor have worked together so that Monitor’s new statutory guidance for Governors provides briefing on the Care Quality Commission’s role and new approach to inspection. It sets out ways in which Governors can have an effective role in the Care Quality Commission’s monitoring and inspection, and how information should be shared.

Update

The Care Quality Commission works with overview and scrutiny committees by allowing them to access and use the information the Care Quality Commission holds about services to help them drive local improvements in care services. They also work with the Care Quality Commission to coordinate compliance monitoring with scrutiny committee activity where appropriate. In turn, the committees share information with the Care Quality Commission gathered from local communities about the quality and safety of health and social care services.

The contract in place with The Centre for Public Scrutiny to deliver work across the country with overview and scrutiny committees will run until March 2015.

The Care Quality Commission is developing a separate guide for local councillors and overview and scrutiny committees to working with the Care Quality Commission, due to be published in November 2014. The Care Quality Commission is developing similar guidance for Foundation Trust Governors. This is due to be published in early 2015.