Healthwatch Northumberland response to CQC Consultation Phase 2
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is currently at stage 2 of a consultation process on its plans for regulation health and social care and the ways in which it will make its processes more responsive and more transparent. Healthwatch Northumberland did not respond to the first stage of the consultation but has provided a full to stage 2.
Our response is balanced as it is supportive and challenging in reasonably equal measures. We support all the areas where there is increased transparency and more focused and proportionate regulation as it is this type of regime that reduces the regulatory burden on providers without losing protection or creating detriment for end users. The response, however, also makes a series of challenges where we feel that the plans being consulted on do not go far enough to protect the interests of service users, their families and carers or where we believe that the CQC is not demonstrating a recognition of the needs of that group. The golden thread that runs through the response is that the CQC does everything possible to enable service users, their families and carers to make informed choices where choice is available and to better understand the services they receive where there is no choice. Underpinning this is the need for significantly increased engagement with end users and their representatives and clearer demonstration by the CQC that not only does it recognise but that is acts on the needs of this most important of stakeholder groups.