New health watchdog for dentists slammed by staff

The Care Quality Commission’s annual staff survey has exposed low staff morale and a lack of employee confidence in the organisation’s management.

The results of the survey were leaked to the Health Service Journal and showed just 16% of staff feeling the health and adult social care regulator was well managed.

Another 14% had confidence in the decisions made by the executive board and a mere 8% felt change was well managed.

The survey, of 1,473 employees or three-quarters of the staff, also found that just 18% felt morale was high in their part of the organisation and a similar figure felt it was safe to challenge the way things are done in the CQC.

Just 7% thought communication between different parts of the organisation was good.

The CQC’s chief executive, Cynthia Bower, is quoted as saying they reflect the ‘enormous’ scale of change the organisation has been through in its first 15 months, including merging three inspectorates into one body and introducing the first registration system for NHS providers.

She adds: ‘The scale of change we have undergone is enormous… I’m acutely aware that morale has taken a hit.’

The CQC took over from the Healthcare Commission on 1 April this year and dentists are part of a second wave of health professionals required to register with the watchdog.

This will be in addition to registration with the General Dental Council (GDC).

At the time, Ms Bower said that the new system provides ‘a historic opportunity’ and added that the regulator was ‘determined to ensure that we expand on the work done to date by the Department and build a robust framework of assurance of quality across all of health and social care’.

The intention is that the new CQC will operate as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for health and social services regulation in the UK and, under the new framework, all providers will be expected to conform to a single set of safety and quality requirements, with legislation in place to support this.

Any practices failing to comply with the agreed CQC standards could be reprimanded.

This includes the power to issue warning notices, impose conditions upon a practice’s registration or – in the worst case scenario – cancel a provider’s registration which would make it illegal for them to operate.

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