CQC Drive Aims To Stamp Out Poor Quality Care

Care Quality Commission To Strengthen Regulation Of Mental Health Care


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has teamed up with mental health charity Mind to launch a new initiative aimed at tackling poor standards of care in the UK.

Chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards is keen to improve the regulation of mental health care services across the country and will publish a number of proposed reforms in November.

In addition to the joint project with Mind, Sir Mike confirmed plans to appoint a deputy chief inspector with mental health expertise who will help him implement future regulatory changes.

"This is a very important appointment and signals our determination to strengthen our regulation of mental health services," he commented.

The CQC will train Mind's helpline team so they can inform people how to share any concerns they may have over the standard of care in the UK.

Around one in four people are said to suffer from some form of mental health problem in any given year, with depression being the most common issue.

Mind deals with around 40,000 calls a year, but there have been suggestions that people do not know where to turn if they have grievances about the quality of treatment and care they are receiving.

Last month, Labour leader Ed Miliband said the government needs to address the apparent under-investment in mental health care and take steps to remove the stigma attached to certain conditions.

Care and support minister Norman Lamb insisted that improving standards is a priority.

"I am determined that mental health is treated with as much importance as physical health by the NHS and the health regulators," he remarked.

Mr Lamb added that the appointment of a new deputy chief inspector would ensure the same "rigorous inspection standards" are applied to mental health facilities as other NHS services.

The CQC confirmed it will continue to run a separate programme of private visits to people who suffer from mental health problems.

Expert Opinion
We welcome the CQC’s action to try to improve the standards of mental health care in the UK as the victims of such illnesses can be extremely vulnerable.

“With physical injuries there are usually obvious visual signs that someone needs care, whereas often with mental illness there are no visual clues that can help people to recognise the warning signs. This is why it is crucial to educate people on the front line about mental health issues.

“The impact of mental health problems can be devastating, and it is important that people suffering from mental health issues, or families of those who are suffering, know where to turn to if they need help or if they believe the care their loved ones are receiving is of a poor standard.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner