The government have published a new amendment to the Health and Care Bill, setting out new powers for the CQC to have oversight of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).
Dr Rosie Benneyworth, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care has stated that the new amendment will support “health and care systems to be held accountable and encourages the shift towards more integrated services and improved outcomes for people.”
But what are ICSs?
Integrated Care Systems, as defined by NHS England, are “new partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups.”
Essentially, they aim to provide the much-needed support for people across the country, by joining up local councils, the NHS and other partners. The aim is to avoid disjointed care and bridge the gap between “hospitals and family doctors, between physical and mental health and between NHS and council services.”
What Does it Mean for Your CQC Mock Inspection with CQC Compliance?
Any change within CQC can have an impact on the way CQC Compliance delivers services. Although the new amendments don’t appear to have an impact on the way we inspect at the moment, it doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.
Alistair Mitchell, Inspector at CQC Compliance has broken down what the new amendments might mean for their inspections. He said: “I know this amendment has been on the cards for some time and it’s really interesting to see what the changes could mean for how local care is delivered.
“CQC will now begin to inspect commissioners of services, with a view to checking how local services work in tangent with stakeholders to deliver care.
“I suspect it won’t have a great deal of impact on our service yet – but watch this space!”
Although it won’t have an impact on the way CQC Compliance conducts its mock inspections, it’s still an important amendment for the government to make.
From December 2020, 11 parts of the country were formally designated as ICSs, serving a combined population of 14 million people.
In total, there are now 29 ICSs covering more than 35 million people in England, more than 60% of the population*.
Gabi Ashton, the CQC Inspections Manager at CQC Compliance said: “It is good to hear there will be a focus on understanding the needs of the local population and delivering care accordingly.
“Importantly, within the CQC framework for healthcare services, to be Well-Led providers are expected to ensure “there are positive and collaborative relationships with external partners to build a shared understanding of challenges within the system and the needs of the relevant population, and to deliver services to meet those needs.
“Our hope is that the right care will be delivered, at the right time, to people who need it most and it opens up opportunities for providers to become involved in more local initiatives and be more innovative in their approach.”
To find out more about our mock inspections, CQC registration support or our bespoke policies and procedures, contact the CQC Compliance team today.
You can read the government’s amendment to the Bill here. *Data obtained from NHS England.