Developing the technology that will drive insight-driven regulation

Mark Sutton, Chief Digital Officer, CQC

In his latest blog Mark Sutton, Chief Digital Officer, gives an update on all things technology, data and insight, one year since the launch of CQC’s new strategy.

It’s now more than a year since we launched our ambitious strategy. One of our four major ambitions was to become a smarter regulator. This means being more dynamic and flexible to provide up-to-date, high-quality information and ratings, and making it easier to work with us. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to make use of new technology to improve our own processes and support health and care providers to improve care for us all.

Data underpins everything we do

In my last blog, I talked a lot about data. The word ’data’ can often trigger fears of the loss of human interaction and of impersonal ’noughts and ones’, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. For me, the word ’data’ means the capturing of the professional judgement and observations of our experienced inspection colleagues. It will enable us to build a consistent and transparent organisational memory that will underpin our ability to become a smarter regulator.

This data includes everything that we capture through all our conversations with providers and information shared with us from other organisations. Crucially, what we hear from people who use services is a vital source of data and one that we want to put at the heart of our regulation.

We’re building new technology platforms, which will ensure that we collect high-quality data together in one place. By integrating all the different data we hold about a service or a local area, we’ll be able to interpret it in a more structured and consistent way. This is the basis of our new single assessment framework — gathering the relevant data and using innovative analysis techniques and professional judgement to support regular and consistent decision-making. And we will use this to share up-to-date information with the public in ways that are meaningful to them. We’ll also be sending this information to providers regularly to give them a more detailed and up-to-date view of our assessments to support their improvement.

So how far have we come?

We’ve been actively working with health and care providers to share our plans and get their input, which is key to shaping how we work. At our co-production workshops, providers were able to give us feedback on what we need to consider when gathering and using data. We’ve used this feedback to help shape how we build our new technology and provider portal that will go live in phases over the next year.

In preparation for publishing the outputs of our new single assessment framework, we went live with our re-vamped website in May. It’s now more accessible and mobile-friendly to help us engage more effectively with over 11 million users a year. There’s still more work to do, but this will become our key platform for sharing information with the public.

What’s next?

Very soon, we’ll be testing our new technology and ways of working with a group of providers who are ‘early adopters’. We’ll be inviting providers to try out our new provider portal, starting with using it to register services with us and to submit statutory notifications. The new portal will be a one-stop shop for registered providers, as they’ll be able to submit new information and update their existing information that we hold, as well as being a single place to see the latest detailed assessments and to digitally interact with us. This will make it much easier to work with us. Later in the year, we will expand this group to include different types of providers before the full roll-out.

This is a massively exciting time for us, and we’ll be keeping you up to date through our regular bulletins.

Come with us

We’d like to stay connected with you on how we’re shaping up with our ambitions to be a smarter regulator and will be sharing more blogs and podcasts throughout the year.

We’re always looking for people who are interested in joining us and working with us at CQC to deliver our strategy and transformation, including digital and data roles. Keep an eye on our jobs website and follow us on LinkedIn.

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