In January of 2021, The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a Strategy consultation
You can find the easy read version of that online here
This is their big plan for how they work.
They asked everyone to say what they think of the plan.
The CQC are an organisation that makes sure health and social care services in England are safe and giving high quality care.
This is called regulation.
The consultation talked about the changes they are going to make for the future to make sure care is as good as it can be.
Some Learning Disability England’s members have read this document and written a paper to say what they think.
Here are the main points that we made in this response.
CQC should be clearer about what services and people they are talking about in the document when they say ‘Health and care providers’.
If they are not talking about services like…
- respite/ short break services
- Single person services
- personal budgets
- independent support funds
How are they going to regulate these services?
It also isn’t clear about whether it includes the care of all people with learning disabilities with different needs.
It seems like it is talking about only older people’s care needs sometimes.
Members also thought that the health inequalities experiences by people with learning disabilities and autism who belong to the BAME groups was not spoken about enough.
This is a very important issue and it wasn’t a big focus of the document.
The CQC needs to understand that care commissioning is really important as well as care provision.
Commissioning means planning care services and making sure they meet peoples needs. Then keeping an eye on how these services are being ran.
Providers are the people that run and give out the care services.
Our response says that the CQC should inspect the commissioning as well as the provision.
There have been many mistakes made in the last few years that have affected people with learning disabilities and autism.
The CQC strategy should talk about what it has learned from these and how it has changed.
The strategy should talk about when things were done well and what this looked like.
For example, they should speak about when they have seen ‘inclusive communication’ done well.
Better use of technology is very important.
The strategy should be clearer about how technology will be used when regulating.
They should give examples of the sort of technology they want to see used.
Digital exclusion is really common among the learning disability community.
Inspections should make sure people have access to Wifi and other communication technology and the skills and support to use it.
All CQC inspectors/ staff need proper understanding and experience of learning disabilities and autism.
They also need training in how to use communication aids so that they can hear from people who need more time and support to communicate.
Safety is so important.
CQC needs to let the learning disability community know that they have learned to listen to and act on the worries of families or staff, and not just see them as ‘stories’.