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CQC to begin assessing local authority services before starting inspections in September

The inspectorate says it will use its new single assessment framework to assess local authorities and integrated care systems starting in April, before carrying out ongoing assessments in September.

02/03/23

CQC to begin assessing local authority services before starting inspections in September

The Care Quality Commission announced that it is proceeding with plans for inspections of local authority services for adults and integrated care systems.

From April 1st, the inspectorate will have new powers from the Health and Care Act 2022 to provide ‘meaningful and independent’ assessments of care at the local authority and ICS level.

CQC will use its ‘single assessment framework’, introduced last July, that it currently uses to assess providers, however it says it will tailor its approach specifically to the context of local authorities and integrated care systems.

The single assessment framework uses quality statements, but to assess local authorities and integrated care systems CQC will use a subset of these, with the specific quality statements for assessing integrated care systems to be published soon.

From 1 April, CQC will start to review data and published documentary evidence across all local authorities, focusing on themes in care provision, integration and continuity, and assessing needs.

CQC says it will not publish this data and evidence at individual local authority level but will instead ‘use its independent voice’ to publish it at an overall national level as a collection of evidence.

The inspectorate says it also intends to start a limited number of pilot assessments from April with up to 5 local authorities being covered between April and September 2023.

“Before we can move to ongoing assessments, we need to complete an initial formal assessment for all local authorities to establish a starting point,” the CQC said in a statement.

“We will therefore start formal assessments in September, and aim to carry out up to 20 assessments between September and December. We will then work with the local authorities and others on the best way to publish our findings from these pilots.”

The inspectorate said it would continue to carry out further formal assessments from early 2024 onwards reporting on its findings, with a view to fulfilling the government’s request to publish individual ratings of local authorities following its pilots and assessments.

The CQC says it will work with local authorities and DHSC to inform how they publish their findings and ratings, but that their approach will enable them to build up a national picture by using our independent assessment expertise in a credible and consistent way.

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