A fast-track investigation is to be launched into how new arrangements linking practices and hospitals have fared during the viral pandemic.
The Care Quality Commission said its series of rapid reviews to help providers of health and social care services learn from their experiences of responding to COVID-19. The Provider Collaboration Reviews will focus on 11 Integrated Care System (ICS) and Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) areas.
The first phase, which will take place between July and August, will see reviews in 11 areas, including Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS, North West London STP and The Black Country and West Birmingham STP, and will involve developing an understanding of the process people with and without coronavirus went through across health and social care providers. It will also examine how health and adult social care for the over-65s operated, with the findings of the 11 reviews to be reported in September in CQC’s COVID Insight report and State of Care in October.
Rosie Benneyworth, chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care said: “The speed and scale of the response required by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the benefits to services and the people who use them of creativity and innovation through collaborative approaches. Responses to the pandemic have offered opportunities for partnership working, ensuring shared efforts to avoid fragmentation and drive best experiences and outcomes for those accessing care within the system.
“These reviews will help identify where provider collaboration has worked well to the benefit of people who use services. Sharing that learning will help drive further improvements across systems.”
Welcoming the rapid reviews, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “It is good to see CQC adapting to reflect the changing environment and piloting different means of working with providers and their partners. One of the great achievements by trusts in response to COVID-19 was the way that they and their partners quickly developed new approaches, collaborating to confront the greatest challenge in the history of the NHS.”
The National Care Forum also welcomed the reviews, adding: “The experience of our members on the frontline in the fight against COVID within the care sector has shown a variety of responses from local systems, some very collaborative and supportive and some less so. We welcome the opportunity for a strong care provider voice within these reviews as we reflect collectively on the very difficult past few months of the crisis.”
Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “We welcome the opportunity to share our learnings and further develop a collaborative approach to supporting the NHS through the next wave of pressures.”