Health and social care regulations review

11 July 2022

The government has announced a post-implementation review of three sets of regulations made under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The regulations are:

  • Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009
  • Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014
  • Care Quality Commission (Reviews and Performance Assessments) Regulations 2018

Feedback is invited from all providers of a regulated activity that are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England to determine:

  • whether all three regulations meet their original objectives
  • whether their scope is still appropriate and proportionate
  • their impact on providers
  • whether any changes are required to achieve those objectives with a system that imposes less regulation or to change what the regulations prescribe

GGI chief executive Andrew Corbett-Nolan offers some context: “Health and social care in England have chosen a different approach to regulation to most other national systems, with regulation stipulated by statute rather than the more usual professional accreditation national approach. The original intention was to create a level playing field, drive up standards and give ‘teeth’ to addressing poor performance. The government is now consulting on developments to this system, or at least the quality requirements it seeks to uphold, to keep the regulations up to date in the context of systems working, and with the new commissioning arrangements being managed through systems. Consultation extends to 22 July.

“A significant amount of GGI’s work is involved with supporting organisations to meet the CQC inspection requirements, or support the achievement of action plans. GGI has developed a real expertise in helping organisations grow their capacity, capabilities and confidence to use their governance as a way of meeting regulator requirements.

“The words ‘use their governance’ are important, because organisations that solely focus on meeting regulator requirements are not self-determining. And neither were the regulations designed to represent an operating system for complex organisations. Strong, sustainable organisations that meet the needs of their populations year in year out are those who use their governance to steer the organisation, and at the same time satisfy the regulator. The other way round, to satisfy the regulator and at the same time steer the organisation is putting the cart before the horse.

“GGI will be reviewing the regulation changes, but I would emphasise that the mindset of boards towards the regulations is the key factor. Boards should lead organisations that meet the regulations, not be led by the regulations themselves.”

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