A rapid literature review of improvement cultures in health and social care

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. In 2021 CQC published a new strategy for the changing world of health and social care. The strategy aims to make regulation more relevant to the way care is now delivered, more flexible to managing risk and uncertainty, and enable CQC to respond more quickly and proportionately as the health and care environment evolves. It also outlined CQC’s desire to promote improvement cultures across health and social care, highlighting the importance of culture in driving improvements in safety and quality.

To support the delivery of their strategy, CQC commissioned SQW (in partnership with the Kings Fund Library Service) to deliver a rapid literature review, focusing on improvement cultures in health and adult social care. The review aimed to inform CQC’s approach to assessing and encouraging improvement, improvement cultures and improvement capabilities of services, while strengthening CQC’s regulatory role.

The review explored the role of culture in improvement in health and adult social care, the characteristics of good improvement cultures and the enablers and barriers influencing this. It also identified gaps in the current literature, and sought to inform CQC’s approach to assessing and encouraging improvement cultures whilst maintaining a strong regulatory role.

You can read the full report here.

If you would like to know more about SQW’s review, please contact Lauren Roberts, SQW Director. If you are interested in finding out more about CQC and their strategy, please visit their website.