Changing our operational teams

Published: 22 November 2022 Page last updated: 22 November 2022

Our strategy sets out an ambition to regulate in a smarter way, adapting and responding to risk, uncertainty and demand. To deliver this, we need to change how we work.

At the heart of this change will be a new regulatory approach built around a single assessment framework. To deliver this approach we will make changes to our teams, introducing a new structure and roles. We will let you know when these changes will affect you.

It’s important that we make these changes to enable us to:

  • look at the quality of health and care services across a local area
  • give a more up-to-date view of quality
  • be more efficient, consistent and effective
  • provide more tailored support to health and care providers.

How we’re changing

We’re bringing together our specialist sector teams (adult social care, hospitals, primary medical services) into one Operations group.

This will break down barriers that previously separated the different sectors. These teams will work across four geographic areas or ‘networks’. They will be responsible for carrying out our assessments of quality. The four networks are:

  • London and East of England
  • Midlands
  • North
  • South

Our new senior leadership team leads our Operations group. This team comprises director roles that replace previous deputy chief inspector roles.

As part of this wider Operations group, we are also establishing a National Operations directorate. This will include registration and national operations teams, for example oral health and children’s services.

We’re splitting the roles and responsibilities involved in carrying out assessments.

Within the networks, we’ll divide ourselves into local teams. These teams will include colleagues with a mix of expertise and experience of different types of health and social care services. This will make sure we can share specialist skills and knowledge about all sectors. Bringing together people with different perspectives will give us the best view of services across a local area.

Our new teams will be made up of assessors, inspectors, regulatory co-ordinators and regulatory officers. An operations manager will lead each team. Depending on the services in a particular area, teams will contain a mix of these roles:

  • Assessors: ensure we have an ongoing view of quality, safety and risk for services in their area. Supported by the inspector and regulatory co-ordinator, they will make judgements about the quality of care. To do this they will consider evidence collected from all sources – both on and off site.
  • Inspectors: lead our enforcement activity. While assessors will collect evidence off-site, inspectors will gather evidence on site visits. We call these site visits inspections.
  • Regulatory co-ordinators: help carry out engagement with providers and local groups of people. They will support us with triaging information and collecting evidence.
  • Regulatory officers: support administrative duties. For example, inspection planning and gathering the experiences of people using services.

We’re enabling more tailored support

Inspectors and assessors will still use their expertise and experience in their specific type of service or sector. But senior specialists with expertise in each sector will be available to support them. We will also continue to use our specialist advisors.

Combining expertise and our new regulatory coordinator role, means we can give more tailored and efficient support to providers and other stakeholders.

All these colleagues will be supported by a central hub. This will monitor performance of our teams, share best practice and standards, and ensure consistency.

For providers, this means:

  • You'll still be assessed by CQC colleagues who are experts in your service type. But our teams can have better conversations with you about how things are working between your service and the other services you interact with in the local area.
  • We'll provide more tailored and efficient support in our relationship with your service. You can speak with members of our local teams for different types of advice and rely less on one person to provide support.
  • We’ll have an up-to-date view of quality and better understanding of what is driving poor or outstanding care. This means we can support improvement specifically where it’s needed and promote good care.

These changes will also bring benefits for the public:

  • People will have a better understanding of what the quality of care is like in the services where they live. We’ll be able to look at all types of care across an area, in a way that’s much more in line with how people access care.
  • People will be able to make more informed decisions about their care because we’ll provide a more up-to-date view of quality.
  • People will be more involved because of better quality and more consistent engagement. This includes with local Healthwatch and other local advocacy and community groups that represent the public. These groups include or act for people most at risk of having a poorer experience of care and those who face inequalities.