The publication of the Health Select Committee report today backs up our belief that that Care Quality Commission needs more resources to undertake inspections. The committee reported that the focus on registering providers had taken away resources from its core function of inspection. This led to a huge 70% fall in the number of inspections in the second half of 2010-2011. MPs stated that the priorities and objectives of the health and social care regulator were not clear and the system for registering new providers was not thoroughly tested before being rolled out.
The role of the Care Quality Commission is to support the most vulnerable; the significant drop in inspections is therefore of grave concern. In 2010/11 just 3,805 inspections took place in adult care homes comparison to 10,856 in 2009/10. MPs highlighted that these failings were not adequately brought to the attention of ministers.
The only way the health regulator can provide better monitoring and regulation is to have more resources, yet their budget has been reduced by 30%. We are calling for yearly inspections to safeguard the quality of care for of older people in hospitals and care homes across the country. The challenge now for the Government and the Care Quality Commission is to work together to ensure this takes place and that they have the funding to do so.