The CQC review on how people are involved in their care

 In Improving Compliance, NHS Guidelines, Regulations and Standards

Involving patients in their own care has been a topic of growing importance in the healthcare sector for some time now. Here at Ashtons, we couldn’t agree more, as there is a considerable body of research showing better clinical outcomes among patients who are consulted about their treatment and who understand the function of medicines prescribed.

The government produced a report in 2012 called “No decision about me, without me” which centred on the fact that they wanted patients being involved in their treatment to be the norm in hospitals, as they believed this was the best way to proceed in patient care.

There were still people debating the merits of this approach, but in 2014, The Kings Fund produced a report titled “People in control of their own health and care” which suggested that people were not as involved as they wanted to be in their own care plans. Also, it went on to state that when patients were involved, decisions were better, health and health outcomes improved and resources were allocated more effectively.

When patients were involved, decisions were better, health and health outcomes improved and resources were allocated more effectively

It was becoming harder and harder to argue against greater involvement for patients in their care, which lead to the CQC launching their Fundamental Standards in April 2015. These standards centred heavily on patient involvement, with all healthcare organisations having to comply with them.

A year on from this, the CQC have produced a report, “Better care in my hands”, which looks at how people are being involved in their care, and what good involvement looks like. The report is “based on newly analysed evidence from the CQC’s national reports and inspection findings, as well as national patient surveys and a literature review”.

Conclusion of the report

The key findings of the CQC report were:

  • Just over half of people asked say they feel definitely involved in decisions about their health care and treatment.
  • Women who use maternity services are particularly positive about how well they are involved in decisions about their care.
  • We found examples of good practice of people’s involvement in their care in our inspections over the last year.
  • There has been little change in people’s perceptions of how well they are involved in their health or social care over the last five years.
  • We have also reported a lack of progress over the last six years in involving people in their care when they are detained under the Mental Health Act.
  • Some groups of people are less involved in their care than others. They are:
  • Adults and young people with long-term physical and mental health conditions.
  • People with a learning disability.
  • People over 75 years old.

From these findings, the CQC were able to put forward their recommendations for service providers, commissioners and for themselves.

CQC recommendations

For service providers, the CQC wanted to emphasise the importance of personalised care plans which would clearly identify patient’s preferences regarding their care and to monitor these. Their example was a ‘patient passport’ which could coordinate their involvement in their care, also acting as a log, so they can be confident they are playing a sufficient role in their treatment plan.

However, helping your patients choose their treatment whilst you satisfy related CQC requirements can only be achieved if your patients understand:

  • The condition they are being treated for
  • Why the treatment is important
  • The medication and treatment options available to them
  • Their effects

The main recommendation for commissioners was to make sure there was accessible information about health and care options to the patients and their families, to help them better understand the pros and cons of certain treatments.

How we can help?

Ashtons offers the tools for your hospitals to be able to do this. We offer MaPPs (Medicines: A Patient Profile Summary), Choice & Medication, NEWT Guidelines and Patient Information Leaflets.

These resources will all help you give your patients the best care possible, as the patient will be able to make a fully informed decision on their treatment.

If you would like to speak to us about how we could improve your patient’s involvement in their care, then please call 0345 222 3550 or email us

If you would like to read the full CQC report on patient involvement then please click here.




  1. ‘Better care in my hands’ report
  2. CQC launches fundamental standards
  3. ‘No decision about me, without me’ (Government)
  4. ‘People in control of their own health and care’ (Kings Fund)
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