The independent healthcare regulator has launched a new charter for patients using health and social care services.
According to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Voices Into Action charter, the regulator will engage with service users to improve care.
It is hoped care home residents, hospital patients and people who receive care at home will receive more say about services because of the charter.
The charter promises regular patient experience surveys, involvement of service users in the inspection regime and the creation of special panels to represent patients.
It also promises to consult on CQC policies, focusing on marginalised groups, working with Local Involvement Networks (LINks), and assessing how well service providers are involving people.
But Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged, said there should be more provision in the charter for older people.
She said: ‘CQC has sidelined older people by deciding not to have a working group looking at their specific needs, despite having dedicated groups for carers, mental health service users and people with learning disabilities.
With its commitment to fully listen to people’s views, the CQC should give older service users the same chances of making their voice be heard.’