What is the Care Quality Commission and why is it important

If you’re going to work with a business that offers health and social care services, you need to know about the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

You could say it’s like to healthcare what TripAdvisor is to hotels, or the food hygiene rating is to early-morning kebabs.

Without it, there would be no agreed standard of care that dentists, nursing homes, ambulances, clinics, and hospitals have to meet. Terrible, I know; the dentist is already scary enough, never mind if the CQC didn’t exist.

Joking aside, the CQC, as an independent regulator of health and adult social care in England, do an outstanding job of making sure the public receives safe and fair treatments across a whole manner of services.

One of the reasons this is so important is because of the continually changing landscape of healthcare. As the industry looks toward delivering more effective and sustainable services through new models and technologies, providers are venturing beyond traditional structures and moving into new, unexplored territories.

A perfect example of which is the treatment of refractive errors and the booming industry of Laser Eye Surgery.

Ensuring safe and effective treatments in England

It’s no secret that the state of regulation in the Laser Eye Surgery industry leaves much to be desired. We’ve already spoken at length about this — about how important it is to avoid low-cost high street providers and seek out a high-quality Laser Eye Surgery clinic — so we won’t go into too much detail here.

We will, however, explore the strict criteria of the CQC and find out a bit more about how its standards ensure safe and high-quality Laser Eye Surgery treatments.

The CQC has four principal markers for assessing any given healthcare service. These are excellence, care, integrity, and teamwork. By grading an organisation across these areas, the CQC can ascertain its level of performance, dedication to the treatment of patients and staff with dignity and respect, commitment to doing the right thing, and its overall approach to mutual learning and doing the best for all stakeholders.

If an organisation succeeds in these four areas, they would be deemed a high-quality service and given the highest accolade by the CQC.

How the CQC reaches this conclusion is through regular monitoring, inspections, and assessments according to a very specific set of criteria and performance rating system. The frequency of inspections varies according to the type of service as well as if there’s a concern or change in the care provider’s circumstances that call it to perform one.

For Laser Eye Surgery clinics and providers, majors checks by the CQC tend to occur every few years. The CQC’s last report on London Vision Clinic was published in 2014, and the clinic is currently the subject of a series of checks being conducted using its new way of inspecting services. This new method of inspection is part of their 2016-2021 strategy that aims to bring a tighter, targeted, and more people-centred approach to healthcare.

With the new report soon to be released, you can read the previous CQC report for London Vision Clinic here. In sum, it shows that patients received a thorough explanation and screening before treatment, they were satisfied with the care, and that the safety of the clinic, including infection control and emergency procedures, was of a high standard.

Keep an eye out for the new report. And in the meantime, check out our TrustPilot page to read testimonials from clients who’ve recently experienced our service first-hand and have a thing or two to say about it.