CQC to be given oversight of new funding?
An article published in the Health Service Journal in late February suggests that the Government will ask the Care Quality Commission to oversee use of additional funds for care, expected to be announced in the March budget.
Although a government source is reported to have said the plans were ‘speculation’, several sources with knowledge of the plans said talks were taking place between the Treasury, Department of Health and the CQC.
Sources with knowledge of the talks are reported to have said the CQC would be tasked by ministers with inspecting how councils use the money. The intention is to provide assurance to the Treasury that the money will deliver measurable improvements – both for social care users, and to the NHS, by helping to reduce delayed transfers out of hospital. The plans are expected to be announced when the Government delivers its spring budget next Wednesday.
Theresa May was heavily criticised following last year’s autumn statement for failing to provide additional funds for health or care. Senior leaders in the NHS, including Simon Stevens, have said any additional funds from the government should first go to social care. The prime minister set up a cabinet office review of social care and integration around the end of last year, which is understood to be looking at both short and long term action.
One aspect of the talks taking place in Whitehall is how, practically, the CQC could evaluate local authority commissioning of social care, and whether it would require additional funding to do so. It is currently paid for via fees from the providers it inspects, along with some central funding form the Department of Health and would require additional funding to take on a new role