The CQC and Local Government Ombudsman have announced a new Information Sharing Agreement which will see the seamless sharing of information about poorly performing care providers, to support both organisation’s work in regulating this sector and members of the public reporting concerns.
The agreement (known as an Information Sharing Agreement (ISA)) gives details of the principles both organisations will follow when sharing information about complaints and concerns. The organisations have agreed to work closer together, including further development of the ‘warm transfer’ of calls systems between the organisations.
‘Warm transfers’ will allow the CQC’s National Customer Service Centre to directly transfer complaints about adult social care to the LGO whilst the complainant is still on the same call. The LGO can also transfer calls to CQC where the complainant wishes to share that information.
The LGO looks at complaints about councils and some other authorities and organisations, such as adult social care providers (including care homes and home care providers). Their role is to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way. The CQC uses information about concerns to inform and plan inspection activities, but cannot investigate individual complaints.
The agreement also gives CQC inspectors the capability to signpost the LGO ‘best practice’ resources and guidance directly to providers during inspections. This includes information for providers on how each organisation uses complaints and information of concern.