Accessing digital records on site visits

We have powers to access a provider’s records to enable us to carry out our regulatory functions. This is set out under:

  • section 63 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008
  • section 120 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

This means that inspectors (and other members of the inspection team with authorisation) will ask to see records. We expect providers to give them access in a timely way, that does not obstruct inspection activity.

Under section 63 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, it is also a criminal offence for anyone to obstruct our on-site inspection activity without a reasonable excuse. This means providers cannot refuse to show CQC inspectors (or other authorised members of the inspection team) records when requested or stop them accessing digital records without a valid reason.