The new independent regulator for adult social care in England has pledged to put service-users at the heart of its decision making.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) started work on 1 April and will regulate all health and adult social care services, and protect the interests of people detained under the Mental Health Act.
It has taken over the duties of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission.
The CQC said one of its nine priorities was to ensure that the experiences and needs of service-users were given “particular emphasis” in deciding what enforcement action to take with poor services. Its Experts by Experience programme will train service-users to become part of inspection teams.
The CQC said all its consultations would involve disabled people, and it would reach out to disabled people from refugee groups and those who may have more than one support need, such as people with mental health and alcohol problems.
The CQC’s advisory groups will include one on equality and diversity issues, whose disabled members will include those who are also lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, from minority ethnic communities, carers and parents, and older people.
Other disabled people will have an input via reference panels, whose members will be consulted on various pieces of CQC work and studies. Most of this will be done online, making it easier to include those who find it difficult to travel or work in groups.
The commission also pledged to work closely with disabled people’s organisations.
Barbara Young, chairman of the CQC, said: “We will put people’s rights to good quality and safe care right at the heart of what we do. We will work hard to ensure that users of services and their carers and families are fully involved in shaping our work and the driving up of quality.”