What we will inspect: independent doctors and clinics

Page last updated: 12 May 2022
Organisations we regulate

Information from our monitoring activity helps to determine the type of inspection and what we will look at.

Types of inspection


Comprehensive inspections address all five key questions, and ask: is the service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? We will always carry out a comprehensive inspection of services that have not had a first inspection or received an initial rating. These are usually announced in advance.

Follow up

We will inspect when we need to follow up an area of concern. This could be a concern identified during an inspection that has resulted in enforcement or compliance action, or concerns that the public, staff or other stakeholders have raised with us.

These inspections do not usually look at all five key questions. They usually focus only on the specific areas indicated by the information that triggers the inspection. However, if we have not inspected and rated your service before, we may choose to carry out a comprehensive rated inspection as well as looking at any individual concerns. This means we won’t have to carry out any further inspections. The decision will depend on the areas of concern and the inspection team.

Inspecting complex providers

If you deliver services across more than one sector, we try to align our inspections to be more efficient and to make the process simpler for you. For example, some organisations may provide a combination of primary healthcare services, acute hospital services, mental health care, community health services and ambulance services, and may also run care homes. We will use teams of specialists to inspect each of these services.