CQC to stop routine inspections to focus on supporting providers to deliver safe care during COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 16 March 2020 Page last updated: 7 April 2020

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that it will be stopping routine inspections from today, Monday 16 March.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CQC’s primary objective will be to support providers to keep people safe during a period of unprecedented pressure on the health and care system.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, said:

“During this period, our priority will be to support those who deliver health and social care to keep people safe during this global health emergency. We will therefore be stopping routine inspections from today. It may still be necessary to use our inspection powers in a very small number of cases when there is clear evidence of harm, such as allegations of abuse.

"In adult social care, our inspectors will also be acting as a support for registered managers, providing advice and guidance throughout this period in the absence of a single national body equivalent to NHS England. We are talking to social care providers about how to most effectively collect information from them to ensure that the Government has a clear picture of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the sector."

Other support that CQC is offering the system includes the return of clinically qualified CQC special advisors to the frontline to help with the wider national response; secondments of staff to DHSC, Public Health England and NHS England. Our customer contact centre expects to start taking non-clinical COVID-19 calls [from next week] in support of 111. CQC staff stand ready to help any other part of the national effort whether that be in the public or private sector.


For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the on the CQC website. (Please note: the duty press officer is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters).

For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

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During this period, our priority will be to support those who deliver health and social care to keep people safe during this global health emergency.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive

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.