Care bosses pledge to drive improvement across Hartlepool

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Care bosses have vowed to crackdown on agencies rated ‘inadequate’ and ‘requires improvement’ as part of an improvement drive.

A presentation was given to Hartlepool Borough Council’s adult services committee by Care Quality Commission (CQC) bosses about recent improvements made to inspection services.

Jean Pegg, inspection manager for the area, told the committee how several changes have been made by the CQC in a bid to drive improvement.

This includes a heavier crackdown on services ranked ‘requires improvement’, as well as those ranked inadequate, the lowest possible rating.

She said: “What we are trying to do is make sure what we have is high quality services.

“We will not tolerate ‘requires improvement’ from facilities.

“If it happens a second time we will be sitting down and talking to them face to face to make a detailed plan.

“Three strikes and we will be looking at it. If it happens a third time we may take a high level of enforcement action, it shows they’re not good enough to be there.”

She added sites rated ‘inadequate’ are visited again within six months, while those rated ‘requires improvement’ are visited within a year.

Meanwhile sites visited ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ are visited within 30 months.

However she warned the CQC do not take action lightly as the care facilities ‘are people’s homes’.

Ms Pegg also told the committee there are few services rated ‘outstanding’ in the area, as standards must be very high to reach the grading.

She said: “We spend hours arguing with providers about whether they have done enough to be rated outstanding.

“But the reality is they’ve got to earn them, they’re not handed out lightly.

“It’s about setting those clear standards and making sure services commissioned for people are the right services.”

She also said the CQC has had to make ‘big changes’ over the past 15 years in terms of administration to keep up with the digital age.

Councillors on the committee said they were pleased to see the strong actions being taken by the CQC over adult services in the area.

Chair of the adult services committee Coun Stephen Thomas said: “It shows it’s not just about what the CQC do on its own.

“It is how it works in partnership, such as with local authorities, to provide the highest possible standard in services and help us operate our services in the way we want them to.”