Annual report and accounts 2021/22

Published: 18 July 2023 Page last updated: 26 January 2024


Who we are and what we do

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

Our purpose

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

Our organisational values are:

Excellence: Meeting our challenge to be a high-performing organisation

Caring: Treating everyone with dignity and respect

Integrity: Demonstrating our passion for 'doing the right thing'

Teamwork: Enabling us to be the best we can be

How we are organised

Under CQC leadership are 4 areas of work:

  1. Inspection directorates
  2. Regulatory, Customer and Corporate Operations
  3. Engagement, Policy and Strategy
  4. Technology, Data and Insight

Our role

Register: We register health and adult social care providers.

Monitor, inspect, rate: We monitor and inspect services to see whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, and we publish what we find, including quality ratings.

Enforce: We use our legal powers to take action where we identify poor care.

Independent voice: We speak independently, publishing regional and national views of the major quality issues in health and social care, and encouraging improvement by highlighting good practice.

Strategic priorities

From 2021, our Strategy sets out 4 strategic ambitions:

  1. People and communities: Regulation that's driven by people's needs and experiences, focusing on what's important to people and communities when they access, use and move between services.
  2. Smarter regulation: Smarter, more dynamic and flexible regulation that provides up-to-date and high-quality information and ratings, easier ways of working with us and a more proportionate response.
  3. Safety through learning: Regulating for stronger safety cultures across health and care, prioritising learning and improvement and collaborating to value everyone's perspectives.
  4. Accelerating improvement: Enabling health and care services and local systems to access support to help improve the quality of care where it's needed most.

Running through each theme are two core ambitions:

  • Assessing local systems: Providing independent assurance to the public of the quality of care in their area.
  • Tackling inequalities in health and care: Pushing for equality of access, experiences and outcomes from health and social care services.

Who we work with

We are the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.

We report to Parliament through the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

We work with other regulators, local authorities and commissioning groups, health and social care organisations, and organisations that represent, or act on behalf of, people who use services, including the Healthwatch network.

Healthwatch England, the national consumer champion for users of health and social care services, is a statutory committee of CQC's Board.

The National Guardian's Freedom to Speak Up Office (NGO) is jointly funded by CQC, NHS England and NHS Improvement. CQC's Chief Executive has responsibility as Accounting Officer for the NGO and for Healthwatch England.