CQC prioritises activity to help create more capacity in adult social care over winter

Published: 21 December 2021 Page last updated: 12 May 2022

As many across the health and social care system work incredibly hard to accelerate and deliver the national booster programme we are continuing to keep our regulatory approach under review.

On 13 December we updated that we were postponing inspections of services who are delivering or supporting the delivery of the booster programme, except where there is evidence of risk to life, or the immediate risk of serious harm to people. This remains the case and we do not expect any change to this approach in early January.

This approach will be kept under continual review and we will continue to update providers of any changes to our approach.

As we updated on 10 December, for other services we are continuing to inspect only where there is a clear risk to safety, or where we can support increasing capacity across the system.

In adult social care this includes:

  • An ambition to complete 1000 infection prevention and control (IPC) inspections in adult social care over the winter period, and respond rapidly to requests to set up new Designated Settings
  • And from January, begin a programme of activity to rate adult social care services that are registered and not yet rated and to inspect providers currently rated as Requires Improvement, to identify where improvement has taken place and re-rate where possible . Supporting the creation of additional capacity in the system.

We know that services across health and social care are experiencing considerable pressure from the spread of the Omicron variant and winter. While our priority always remains to keep people safe we will continue to ensure that our approach remains appropriate and proportionate.

We also want to recognise the work of everyone in health and social care. Your efforts ensure people are able to receive care and the delivery of the vaccination programme.