Behan: CQC budget was so low, it couldn’t properly inspect care

The Care Quality Commission’s budget shrank to the point where there was “insufficient resource available for us to do the job” of inspecting care, its chief executive has told CSW – but the Department of Health is now providing extra funds to support a new inspection model.

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By Matt.Ross

05 Mar 2014

Speaking in an interview with CSW David Behan said DH is supplying an extra £20m this financial year, and the CQC “will get more again next year”. The money will support “the development and delivery of the new approach, the new methodology” for inspections, he explained.

Criticising the CQC’s previous inspection model, Behan said: “There is an issue: were the methodologies and the way that CQC operated compromised by the resources that were available? I think it is the case that there is insufficient resource available for us to do the job, and we’re doing something about that now.”

Behan was responding to a question about the CQC’s budget, which is about 0.2% of NHS spending. He added that there’s “been a political debate about regulation, but the members of the public – particularly in health and care – have a much greater appetite for regulation… They see it as being essentially protective of their interests.”

Read the full interview


In his role as director-general of public spending and finance, Julian Kelly is tasked with improving the skills of finance professionals across government. To achieve this, he works with departmental finance chiefs who assess the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and report to the Finance Leadership Group.

This group meets up once a month and is made up of seven or eight chief finance officers of the government’s largest departments, such as the Department of Health, the Ministry of Justice, HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions. “It’s very much the senior finance leaders around Whitehall, who are saying: ‘Right, this is what we should be doing. How are we going to do it? And how are we going to measure ourselves?’ – rather than me telling everyone else what to do,” Kelly explains.

Departmental finance chiefs then lead projects designed to achieve improvements in particular areas of finance such as business planning, forecasting and risk management. And Kelly’s job is to “hold [them] to account”, he says.

Kelly also takes a keen interest in senior appointments, and has the power to block them if he’s not convinced of candidates’ abilities.

Another of his roles covers the new finance Fast Stream, created this year following a review of entry routes to the profession carried out in 2013. The internal audit and commercial professions also decided that they would create fast streams, which led to the creation of a “family of the three related professions”.

Kelly took over the profession’s leadership in May, replacing Richard Douglas – the DH finance chief – who’d co-written the report arguing for the creation of Kelly’s new job.

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