What you need to know about CQC registration

What you need to know about CQC registration

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has introduced a new sys­tem of registration, which brings the NHS, independent healthcare and adult social care under a single set of essential standards of quality and safety for the first time.

This new system brings with it sig­nificant changes for providers of inde­pendent and voluntary ambulance services, which must be registered with the CQC from April 1 2011. All adult social care and independent healthcare providers must be regis­tered by now (from October 1 2010), and GPs must be registered from April 2012. All NHS Trusts were brought into the system on April 1 2010.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 outlines the scope of registra­tion. The Department of Health has set out the new regulations in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 (which can be downloaded from www.opsi.gov.uk) and Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009. Registration is a legal licence to operate. To be regis­tered, providers must show that they are meeting new essential standards of quality and safety that will apply across the care sector.

The aim of registration

The aim of registration is that people can expect services to meet the same essential standards to protect their safety and to respect their dignity and rights wherever care is provided, wherever they live.

After initial registration application, the CQC will continuously monitor whether providers are meeting essen­tial standards, as part of a new, more dynamic system of regulation that places the views and experiences of people who use services at its centre.

The new registration system focuses primarily on outcomes – the experi­ences the CQC expects people to have as a result of the care they receive – rather than primarily on poli­cies and processes. It wants people to have a bigger say in how it judges whether providers are meeting essen­tial standards.

Who needs to register?

It is the service provider who must register with us. A provider may be an individual, a partnership, or an organisation, such as a company, a charity, an NHS Trust or a local authority. A provider must register for each of the regulated activities it provides. Regulated activities include the treatment of disease, disorder and injury, surgical procedures, nurs­ing care, diagnostic and screening procedures and others. A full list is available on the CQC website.

A provider may be registered to provide regulated activities from more than one location. Individual prac­tices or services run by the provider are not required to be registered separately in addition to the provider – they are part of the provider’s one application.

To be registered by the CQC, a pro­vider must be able to show that it’s meeting essential standards of qual­ity and safety in all of its regulated activities.

Guidance and compliance

The CQC has produced guidance about what providers must do to meet the essential standards. You can download the publication, Essential standards of quality and safety from www.cqc.org.uk/registration and you can access an interactive version at www.cqcguidanceaboutcompliance.org.uk.

The guidance is focused on out­comes and relates to important aspects of care such as the safety, availability and suitability of equip­ment; respecting and involving peo­ple who use services; and their care and welfare.

A provider’s registration is the first step in the new regulatory system. Focus then shifts to monitoring the provider’s services to make sure that they continue to meet essential stand­ards of quality and safety. If a provider falls below the standards, the CQC works with them to ensure that they return to compliance as quickly as possible. If a provider fails to improve, the CQC will take swift action to protect people who use the service, using legal powers if necessary.

In addition to reviewing a provider’s compliance in response to specific information about them, the CQC reviews all registered provider’s com­pliance with essential standards at least once every two years. The exact frequency of these planned reviews depends on the type of services the provider offers, the people who use them, and the amount of informa­tion it routinely receives from the provider.

What about dental nurses?

Dental nurses do not have to register individually with the CQC for the work that they are employed or contracted to carry out for their employer. This is because the service provider is the legal entity responsible for carrying out the regulated activity and it’s the provider that needs to be registered.

All employees of a registered service provider must have an enhanced CRB disclosure, where the role is covered by the vetting and barring scheme under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Although the CQC will not routinely ask to see an indi­vidual disclosure, it must be avail­able just in case. Ultimately, it is the provider’s responsibility to meet the requirements of all outcomes and ensure the safety of people who use services.

The provider, however, must include an enhanced CRB disclosure when submitting their registration applica­tion for the nominated individual, an organisation (or a limited liability part­nership) or the partners in an ordinary partnership. A nominated individual is the official point of contact between the CQC and the provider and is responsible for supervising the way any regulated activity is managed.

If your employer already has a PCT countersigned enhanced CRB cer­tificate, the CQC will not ask them to produce another in respect of their application to register as a provider.

Timeline of events

The application process for registra­tion will start in November 2010. The CQC have begun to write to providers from September to ask them to con­firm their contact details. Once these are confirmed, it will notify provid­ers of the dates for their application window, within which they will be required to submit their application forms. In all cases, even providers who have not received the notifica­tion from the CQC, must apply by December 31 2010 if the application is to be processed by the time that registration comes into force.

There is no fee to apply to regis­ter. Fees will become payable from April 1 2011. The CQC will consult separately on its fees scheme in due course.

Further information

For further information on the regis­tration process, providers can sign up to the CQC’s monthly e-update for health and social care professionals at www.cqc.org.uk/newsandevents/newsletter.cfm and join its provider reference group, an online com­munity, offering the opportunity to engage with its work through a variety of methods, including surveys, dis­cussion forms and polls. You can sign up by emailing cqc@nunwood.com.

It will be writing to providers to advise what will happen next and about further action that needs to be taken. For more information please visit www.cqc.org.uk/registration or email enquiries@cqc.org.uk.

 

 

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