CQC launches consultation on how it regulates ambulance services

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is changing the way it regulates, inspects and rates ambulance, dental and independent acute healthcare services – and they want to know what you think of their plans.

About this consultation

Earlier this year, the CQC asked for views on their plans to change the way they regulate, adult social care services, NHS acute hospitals, community health, specialist mental health services and NHS GP and out-of-hours services. They published their response to the consultation and final guidance documents for these services a few months ago.

Over the next eight weeks they want to find out what you think about how they're planning to change the way they regulate services that were not part of the first consultation – including ambulance services.

This includes things like:

  • what they look at on an inspection
  • how they judge what 'good' care looks like
  • how they will, or won’t, rate services to help the public judge and choose care      if they want to
  • how they use information to help them decide when and where they inspect.

The CQC will rate NHS ambulance services; these ratings will help people to compare services and will highlight where care is outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

The main changes are:

  • introducing new ways to inspect services, with chief inspectors and more specialist      teams that include members of the public
  • using a new system of intelligent monitoring to help the CQC decide when, where      and what to inspect
  • listening to people's experiences of care
  • making judgements and ratings based around the five key questions asked of all services:are they safe? are they effective? are they caring?are they responsive to people's needs? are they well-led?

The CQC’s plans for ambulance services have been set out in a consultation document, which you can download and read on their website.

You have until 23rd January to share your feedback, which you can do online through the CQC’s consultation form. The final plans will be developed using the feedback from the consultation, will be published in early 2015 and the actual changes will come into effect in April next year.

Published 7th December 2014 

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