CQC registration standards require greater focus on outcomes, with the onus on providers to prove that their processes ensure that these outcomes are delivered, and collect the evidence to prove it. But sustaining quality improvement and delivering outstanding person-centred outcomes requires much more than mere compliance with regulations, including strong leadership and a supportive culture.
With greater financial pressures, providers need to be much smarter about understanding their costs and how they vary with different (and probably lower) levels of service affordable, numbers of service users and varying staffing models. They need to be able to price services more competitively, having assessed the impact on their profitability.
Better cost analysis needs to pave the way for rigorous examination of every aspect of the business, to justify expenditure, search for economies, eliminate waste and reduce costs, and to review all operational processes to see where staff productivity, effectiveness and efficiency can be improved.
Increasingly, providers will be asked to demonstrate they are providing value for money in support services provided. This will require greater focus on justifying their costs in relation to levels of support provided and the outcomes that they are delivering for their service users.