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Care Quality Commission consults on new approach to inspecting and rating care services

9 April 2014
  • Media

9 April 2014

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is asking people who use and run health and adult social care services and the public at large for views on the regulator’s plans for inspecting and rating care services.

Over the past year, CQC has been developing a new approach to the way it works. The main elements of the new approach are larger, more specialist and expert inspection teams led by chief inspectors, greater involvement in inspections by members of the public with personal experience of services, better use of information to identify risks and plan inspections, and ratings for all health and adult social care services.

The consultation launched today is on the detailed guidance on how CQC will regulate, inspect and rate NHS acute hospitals, mental health services, community health services, GP practices, out of hours services, care homes; home care services; and hospice services.  

CQC is seeking views on a range of issues about the new approach including:

  • The proposals for a rating system
  • CQC’s view of what a service looks like for any of the rating categories – outstanding, good, requires improvement, inadequate
  • The questions inspectors need to ask to determine if a service is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led
  • The core services we always look at when we are inspecting
  • The methods we use to gather information about services from the public
  • The sources of information we draw on to help assess risk and decide when and where to inspect – our ‘Intelligent monitoring’ tool
  • The frequency of inspections

Today, CQC is publishing three overview documents introduced by our three Chief Inspectors and separate, detailed draft guidance for seven different types of services:

  • Acute hospitals
  • Community health services
  • Domiciliary care (care in the home)
  • NHS GP and Out of Hours services
  • Hospice care
  • Mental health services
  • Residential adult social care (care homes)

CQC Chief Executive David Behan said: "Over the past six months we set out proposals for different types of care services and we have been testing our new style inspections in hospitals, mental health and community health services and will be testing them in adult social care services and GP practices from this month.

"The changes we are making are vital to ensuring that we are able to make sure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and encourage care services to improve. Throughout these changes, we will always be on the side of people who use services and it is important to us that we hear what people think of our plans."

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said: "A new, independent and rigorous inspection regime will give the public vital information on health and social care performance, and the Chief Inspectors will shine a light on areas where improvement is needed. The CQC is seeking views on important elements of their inspection programme and I would encourage patients and all other interested parties to respond. This will help to drive up quality."

Notes to Editors

The consultation runs until 4 June 2014.

Alongside the handbooks CQC is publishing overview documents from the chief inspectors for hospitals, primary care and adult social care. It also consulting on its human rights approach.

Following the consultation we will publish a final update of this guidance in September 2014 before formally introducing the changes in all these types of services from October 2014, when the regulations underpinning them come into effect.

Further consultations on our guidance on the regulations that underpin our work and on how we will regulate, inspect and rate other types of care services will follow later this year and early next year.

All the documents and information on how people can take part in the consultation are on CQC’s web site

For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.

Last updated:
30 May 2017