CQC Quality Statements in Focus - 'Effective'

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released new quality statements and evidence categories under its single assessment framework, which will be officially launched later in 2023. Here we explore what the 'effective' statement means.

What does ‘Effective’ actually mean?

According to the CQC definitions, a Practice provides an effective service when the care, treatment and support they offer to patients and other ‘service users’ achieves good outcomes, promotes a good quality of life and is based on the best available evidence. This also means that a practice doesn’t stand still – it evolves and improves itself, whether that is the level or type of services provided, which leads to a better quality of service that becomes the ‘patient experience’.

Ultimately, for any primary care service, person-centred care is central to providing an effective service. Individuals are valued, heard and listened to and this leads to a service that meets their needs in ways that will reach and then improve on the identified outcomes.

To be effective, you first need to identify what those three statements mean in any particular circumstance. This begins with an assessment of need for each patient that will use your service, and should be reviewed regularly and amended as necessary, as the needs of the individual change through time.

As a primary care provider, it is important to recognise that achieving the goals and outcomes of a care plan requires small but significant steps taken at a manageable pace. This can be supported by regular reviews and continuous learning, and is crucial in providing an effective service to patients that should be implemented from the start.

Key question: effective

The quality statements for Practices aim to ensure that services work in harmony with each other, ‘with people at the centre of their care’ and cover how it is planned, delivered (with partners) and monitored to ensure good practice outcomes.

The key factor throughout these statements is improvement – of the services provided and the quality of the patient experience.

Assessing needs: We maximise the effectiveness of people’s care and treatment by assessing and reviewing their health, care, wellbeing and communication needs with them. (Regulations 9, 11, 12 and 17.)

Delivering evidence-based care and treatment: We plan and deliver people’s care and treatment with them, including what is important and matters to them. We do this in line with legislation and current evidence-based good practice and standards. (Regulations 9, 11, 12, 14 and 17.)

How staff, teams and services work together: We work effectively across teams and services to support people. We make sure they only need to tell their story once by sharing their assessment of needs when they move between different services. (Regulations 9, 12, and 17.)

Supporting people to live healthier lives: We support people to manage their health and wellbeing so they can maximise their independence, choice and control. We support them to live healthier lives and where possible, reduce their future needs for care and support. (Regulations 9, 10 and 12.)

Monitoring and improving outcomes: We routinely monitor people’s care and treatment to continuously improve it. We ensure that outcomes are positive and consistent, and that they meet both clinical expectations and the expectations of people themselves. (Regulations 9 and 17.)

Consent to care and treatment: We tell people about their rights around consent and respect these when we deliver person-centred care and treatment. (Regulation 11).

Evidence categories

The CQC has developed six evidence categories to support the single assessment framework and bring greater structure and consistency to their judgements. These are the same for every quality statement:

  • People’s experience of health and care services.
  • Feedback from staff and leaders.
  • Feedback from partners.

Delivering consistently can also make a significant impact in achieving the criteria to offer an excellent service. As the Practice expands, a solid scheduling system is a necessary investment to ensure effectiveness.

Self-assessment is essential for monitoring service effectiveness. Learning from incidents and sharing it with staff through meetings, supervision, reflection/risk assessments, among other means, should result in steps that lower the probability of recurrence and demonstrate your capacity to improve and increase effectiveness.

Providing person-centred care is at the heart of delivering an effective service. Patients should be valued, heard, and listened to within this context. This leads to a service that meets their needs and contributes to maintaining their independence and wellbeing, ultimately leading to improved outcomes.


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