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ICSs will not be penalised for poorly performing providers says CQC

ICSs will not be penalised for poorly performing providers says CQC
By Victoria Vaughan
17 January 2023

ICSs will not be penalised for poorly performing services on their patch a CQC lead told MPs today.

Speaking at the Health and Social Care Committee hearing into ICSs: autonomy and accountability Kate Terroni, Interim chief operating officer at the Care Quality Commission confirmed the CQC would not be aggregating up provide ratings to form a view of an ICS.

‘We are interested in how ICSs have oversight and support every component of health and care in their patch. If a provider is performing poorly we’d be interested to know how that ICS was working with that provider to support its improvement.

‘If you have a system partner which isn’t playing well the ICS would not be penalised but we’d want to know what efforts they were making to bring that partner to the table and engage them. Our focus is around the coming together of health and social care and has it made a difference to people in that area?’ adding that where there are concerns about providers the CQC can use its enforcement powers to look at look individual providers.  

Ms Terroni also told ministers the new CQC single assessment framework will be approved to start on April 1 according to assurances from the Department of Health and Social Care.

‘We’ve been working incredibly closely with the department throughout the development of our new powers and our approach and they are confident the right steps will be taken in order for our powers to go live on April 1 as is planned.’

The CQC single assessment framework will cover local authorities, providers and ICSs and has been built with a focus on improving outcomes for patients by working with Think Local Act Personal and National Voices.

Ms Terroni said that the framework looks at 17 areas which can be scored if the government decided on that but said it was questionable the public would use the rating to make decisions.

‘We will be looking at 17 areas and for each of those areas we will collect evidence and build a narrative which can be scored, whether we do that will be up to the government,’ she added that public use and value simple, easy to understand CQC ratings particularly around choosing a care home for a loved one.  

‘As to whether the public would use an ICS rating to see where they would move in the country is questionable. I’m less convinced it will inform the public but we know [ratings] drive improvements.’

Zina Etheridge, Chief Executive, at NHS North East London ICS, which took part in the CQC test and learn process in July along with South Yorkshire ICS said the experience showed more time was needed in the run up to inspection.

‘Our experience was we didn’t have enough time to prepare and that was inevitable given we’d just set up. The complexity of the system and the number of people needed to be involved to give a rounded of view of the ICS means you do need a run in in terms of getting people together,’ she said.

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