In 2013/14 the CQC began to introduce a new, tougher approach to inspecting care services. The more rigorous, expert-led inspections are starting to give a deeper understanding of the quality of health and social care than ever before.
To quote from the report:
"We've found many examples of good and outstanding care. But we've also found wide variation in quality. There are big differences in the quality of care that people experience from different providers, in different places and sometimes at different times of the day or day of the week.
What we've found: unacceptable variation in quality
We have seen widespread, unacceptable levels of variation in the quality of care.
There are five key questions that we now ask of all the services we inspect:
- Are they safe?
- Are they effective?
- Are they caring?
- Are they responsive to people's needs?
- Are they well-led?
We began applying our new inspection approach to NHS trusts in September 2013. We've seen some outstanding care - but we've also seen examples of care that requires improvement or that's inadequate. We have found differences in quality from one trust to another, from hospital to hospital within trusts, and between different services within hospitals."