The Care Quality Commission (CQC)  announced on Wednesday 16th July 2014 that it will work together with the Adult Social Care sector to put together a new regime that will tackle failing care through special measures from April 2015.

The announcement follows a press conference where Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC chief inspector of adult social care, joined secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, to explain the new scheme.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the Care Quality Commission’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said:

“In people’s homes and care homes across the country, we know that dedicated staff are delivering fantastic care for people. Sadly, this is not always the case and we know that some services are continuing to fail the people they serve. I am clear that abuse, neglect and poor care will not be tolerated. We need to shine a spotlight on this poor practice and make sure that services improve. If they do not, they will have to face the consequences.

“I welcome the opportunity to work with service providers, commissioners and most importantly people using services, their carers and families to develop a special measures regime which will call time on poor care. Our new ratings regime will start in October and will highlight inadequate services.  This will be an unambiguous signal that improvements are needed and we will set out clear expectations, including the time scale to sort out problems and where to go for help.

“People’s confidence in adult social care services has been knocked by shocking examples of poor care. I want to restore confidence by celebrating the good work we do see while also tackling persistent poor performance. Together, we can make sure these services are the best they can be for the benefit of everyone who needs them.”

Beth Britton, Freelance Campaigner, Consultant, Writer, Blogger – and former carer to her father who had vascular dementia – said:

“Whilst the vast majority of the care my father received during his 9 years in care homes was excellent, a  6 month period of poor ‘care’ resulted in his death from a severe aspiration pneumonia. People who use social care services and their families need to know that if a provider is failing in their duty of care that there is a system in place to halt that neglect and change the culture, and do so in a timely, but sensitive, manner. I look forward to working with Andrea, her team and colleagues from across the care sector in the co-production of the new special measures regime.”

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive at Care England, said:

“Care England welcomes the fact that the Care Quality Commission’s new special measures regime for failing services is being developed jointly with the care sector. It is our hope that this regime will give new clarity and consistency in how failing services will be challenged to improve, and clearly define the process and timescales on when they will be removed from the market.”

Colin Angel, Policy and Campaigns Director at United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), said:

UKHCA remains committed to helping CQC develop an effective and proportionate regime to enable ‘inadequate’ providers to improve.  We believe that issuing clear and concise statements on the outcomes providers must meet and signposting providers to the range of resources available to them will support their progress to high-quality services.”

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association said:

“We at National Care Association hope that this will be an arrangement that is rarely used but as an organisation that represents responsible care providers, we believe that in certain circumstances, special measures will focus attention on rapid improvement. National Care Association represents small and medium sized businesses so it will be important for us to look closely at the detail of the proposals to make sure that the proposals recognise the challenges that can often face small business.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and encourage care services to improve. They monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publish what they find to help people choose care.

This move has been welcomed by UKHCA and you can find more information on the CQC website here.