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We want to hear from you about how we use your information

30 November 2015
  • Public

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is seeking views on the way it accesses, handles, shares and uses confidential personal information.

The use of personal information is an important part of our work. People need to feel safe when telling us about their care and they must have assurance that the information will be handled safely and appropriately at all times.

The Code of Practice – which was first published in 2010 – seeks to offer that assurance and to explain how we protect people’s private information. It is now being updated and revised.

The code has implications for people who use services, their families and carers, as well as providers of care and staff who work for CQC.

Commenting on the consultation, Chief Executive David Behan said: “The use of confidential personal information is crucial to our work as a regulator. We sometimes have to review confidential personal information – including information from medical and care records – because it is necessary to help us understand the quality of people’s care and to ensure that we achieve our purpose of making sure people receive safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.

“We want people to tell us about their experience of care, but they must feel confident that the information they give to us is going to be protected and used in the most appropriate way.

“Our aim in revising the code is to ensure that it provides clear and easy-to-follow guidance to support our staff in making lawful, ethical and appropriate decisions in relation to confidential personal information and that it tells people what they can expect from CQC in how we handle private information.

“The code has implications for people who use the services we regulate and for everyone who works in the care sector, so I would encourage you to take part.”

How the changes affect providers of care and people who use services

These changes should make it easier to understand how we may use confidential personal information and to reassure people when we request such information.

It will give people a better understanding of why we sometimes need to use our statutory powers to look at confidential personal information when we are inspecting care providers, to make sure people are protected from unsafe care.

The changes will also explain how people can access the information we hold about them.

Some examples of confidential personal information are:

  • A person’s medical or care records, or specific pieces of information about their physical or mental health, condition or treatments.
  • Information about a care provider’s social or family life.
  • Details of a care worker’s education, training and experience.
  • Information about the sexuality, religious beliefs and racial or ethnic origin of a CQC employee.

Get involved

The consultation runs until midday on 19 February 2016. You can give your views online or via email at

Last updated:
29 May 2017