Healthwatch and Public Involvement Association (HAPIA) News ___________________________________________________________________________
CQC SEEKS MORE INSPECTORS AS WORKLOAD MOUNTS - March 2018 The Care Quality Commission is to recruit an extra 100 inspectors this year amid concerns from staff over unmanageable workloads.
The regulator has moved to an “always on” approach to recruitment after underspending on pay costs by £10.2m in the nine months to December due to a failure to recruit sufficient staff.
A survey of CQC staff found the size of the workload was a key source of disquiet. The worst affected directorate was adult social care where only 22 per cent of staff agreed their workload was manageable. The next lowest score was the hospital directorate at 54 per cent.
Following the survey, the regulator has said it would work to bring both directorates up to their full staffing establishment. The primary medical services directorate is already at full establishment. The recruitment is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.
In addition, 100 inspectors will be recruited after March to boost staffing levels and address “skill mix issues”. The CQC said it hoped to reduce the time between a member of staff leaving their job and a replacement arriving by launching the “always on” recruitment policy.
Finance director Kate Harrison told the CQC board: “The pay underspend is very much due to recruitment not having gone as well as it could do.
“At the end of Q3 we were underspent having a net surplus of £8.1m, which is made up of an underspend on £10.2m offset by an under recovery on income of £1.6m. “We are still forecasting a surplus of around £10.2m, that is largely on pay although some still on non-pay due to the continued drive for efficiency on the non-pay area and linked to that is colleagues in the people directorate are moving to an always on recruitment model, so next year we are hoping that will enable us to have a steady stream of people coming in and we are not underspending on pay. Any underspend that we do have will be taken into a reserve held by the CQC and used for the benefit of fee payers.”
She added that the CQC will face increasing financial pressures during the next two years: “We still have a need to reduce expenditure next year. We will have a budget of £223m next year,
Care.data aims to make better use of patient information to improve care in the future. However, consumers reported to us that they felt unable to make an informed decision about whether to opt out of the programme.
After consulting with stakeholders, the programme is now planning 'pathfinder' projects in four areas of England. The projects will test the clarity of the patient communications materials and the effectiveness of the data extraction process. Our research indicates that many adults would be happy to donate their personal health data to help research if it was anonymous. We believe guaranteeing anonymity and control are key to giving consumers confidence.
To help we have developed ten principles to collecting and sharing personal health and care data. Ten principles on information sharing
1. People can access their own health and social care data and records to see what the system has collected and who they are sharing it with.
2. Data is collected and shared in a manner that does not unjustifiably compromise people’s anonymity, safety or treatment.
3. Collecting and sharing data cannot be used to justify treating people on an unequal basis with others.
4. Data collection and sharing will not have impact on a person’s wellbeing by, for example, causing them additional anxiety or distress.
5. People are provided with all the information they require about Care.data or any other data sharing initiative, to make an informed choice about whether they want to opt in or out.
6. Frontline professionals are upfront and honest about the benefits and dis-benefits of opting in or out of Care.data or any other similar programme.
7. If an opt out is offered, it must be a genuine option (i.e. not overly burdensome) and people must be informed about the restrictions and limitations of this option.
8. If someone raises a concern or makes a complaint about the collection or sharing of their records, this must be taken seriously and staff must take immediate action to address the concern and, if it relates to a breach of confidentiality, put safeguards in place to restore the person’s anonymity.
9. People should be able to opt out of Care.data later if they change their mind about the programme in future.
10. People should be offered an opportunity to get involved in local decisions at their GP surgeries about whether or not records are shared with the Care.data programme.
Local Healthwatch in the pathfinder areas will be working to ensure that members of the public can make an informed decision on whether to opt-out of sharing their data.
Last November, the Government appointed Dame Fiona Caldicott as National Data Guardian. The Government made clear that no data will be extracted from GP practices as part of the care.data programme until Dame Fiona has advised the Secretary of State for Health that she is satisfied with the proposals and safeguards.
The specifications for the new enhanced service so said that GPs will be paid £16 for conducting a appointments in practice with a patient registered elsewhere, which is more than had been previously expected, in that one area team had arrangements in place to pay £40 for home visits and £11 for emergency appointments.
NHS England admitted that it only expected 0.4% of the population to use the new patient choice scheme, which allows them to register out of their area, including registering with practices closer to their work.
The details of this new enhanced service come after NHS England was forced to delay the scheme from 1 October this year to 5 January, following concerns raised by the GPC that practices had not been given enough time to prepare.
GP-LED HEALTH CENTRES HIT BY NEW DIRECTIVE Commissioners are using break clauses in APMS Contracts to impose the new arrangements following an NHS England national directive to separate the 8.00am - 8.00pm walk-in services from the registered patients' service at GP-led Health Centres.
The Health Minister has promised to look into the threat so some Practices, which could be made unviable by proposed funding cuts of up to 43%.
The measures, due to be consulted on if approved at Thursday's board meeting, would be put on a statutory basis. The ‘significantly enhanced’ measures against conflicts of interest would also see enhanced training for lay members, public registers of interests and decisions, and observer rights for local authority and Health Watch representatives.