Recommendation 54

Records of regulatory issues

Accepted
Where regulatory issues are discussed between the Care Quality Commission and other agencies, these should be properly recorded to avoid any suggestion of inappropriate interference in the Care Quality Commission’s statutory role.

The Care Quality Commission is implementing this recommendation by means of partnership agreements and operational protocols which include criteria to make and store a formal record of meetings. So far, these cover the Care Quality Commission’s relationships with Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Healthwatch England and the General Medical Council. The Care Quality Commission will extend this approach to other stakeholders, foremost among which are the other professional regulators and the ombudsmen.

Update

The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and adult social care providers in England. The Government has put in place a series of measures to give it greater independence. These include the removal of a number of specific powers for the Secretary of State for Health to intervene in its day to day work, the appointment of three Chief Inspectors and a strengthened Board.

The Care Quality Commission is currently developing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Local Government Ombudsman.  This will be underpinned by an information sharing protocol which will set out the circumstances and the nature in which information will be shared between the two bodies, the frequency information will be shared and the use to which it will be put.

Similarly, the Care Quality Commission is also developing a protocol for sharing information, including relevant emerging and urgent concerns, safeguarding issues and whistleblowing concerns with the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (this does not apply where the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman may be investigating the Care Quality Commission).

These agreements aim to enable each organisation to fulfil its regulatory and/or statutory duties and responsibilities proportionately and collaboratively.