Review of CQC’s impact on quality and improvement in health and social care

Published: 25 April 2017 Page last updated: 12 May 2022

CQC has a broad range of responsibilities in a complex health and social care environment. The population is changing, people are living longer – often with long-term and complex care needs, especially towards the end of their life – and demand for care is growing.

We want to identify our influence on the quality of care and on quality improvement. In this report, we demonstrate what we currently know about the extent to which we are achieving our purpose: ensuring high-quality care and encouraging improvement.

Understanding impact is complex and we are only just starting to understand the extent to which we can assess our impact. This is a long-term process and will require continual assessment.

Our evidence base

This is the first time we have considered our impact in this way; our methodology is new and our findings can be only as meaningful as the qualitative and quantitative data sources available to us at this time. These sources include:

  • Analysis of ratings (as at 31 December 2016) that we have given to providers and locations after their first comprehensive inspection, any re-ratings from further or follow-up inspections
  • Self-completion surveys (taken at different points in time) of providers, people who use services and the general public
  • CQC’s internal management information
  • Case studies of 27 providers’ experience of being regulated by CQC: qualitative research conducted by Ipsos MORI, an independent research organisation.

Sector-specific findings

In addition to overall findings across all health and social care sectors, we report on some sector-specific findings for the following:

  • Adult social care – covering residential and community services including care homes, nursing homes, home care services and hospices.
  • Hospitals – covering both NHS and independent acute, community and mental health providers and locations.
  • GP practices.

The focus for this report is on our main activities of registering, monitoring, inspecting and rating care services, enforcing against regulations and using our independent voice. Other activities we carry out such as monitoring the Mental Health Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, and our Market Oversight function in adult social care, are not included in this report.