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New agreement between Care Quality Commission and Royal College of Pathologists

12 February 2021
  • Public

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) have today published a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement.

The agreement sets out how CQC will work with RCPath to:

  • safeguard the wellbeing of the people receiving health and social care in England
  • promote patient safety and support improvements in care
  • coordinate activity and use our resources effectively.

RCPath is a professional membership organisation with charitable status. It oversees the training of pathologists and scientists working in specialities such as histopathology, haematology, clinical biochemistry, and medical microbiology.

Although some pathologists work in laboratories, many work with patients in hospitals and the community.

The MoU confirms that we will share information about the quality of pathology services. This includes any concerns or evidence of safety risks.

The sharing of information will:

  • enable CQC inspectors to have formal access to RCPath to raise queries about specific providers or services
  • allow CQC inspectors to seek advice from RCPath if actions are needed to support improvement or to ensure patient safety
  • inform the focus for CQC’s assessment of pathology services and any areas that need specific attention
  • alert CQC to cases where measures taken to address persistent poor performance in technical external quality assurance by a pathology service have failed, despite intervention and support from RCPath’s Quality Assurance in Pathology Committee
  • Enable RCPath to seek advice from the CQC if actions to ensure standards of care and good governance of pathology services are required.

The agreement will be regularly reviewed to make sure it is relevant, up to date and effective.

Last updated:
12 February 2021