How we use information and data

Page last updated: 10 May 2022

What are the main ways we use information?

From listening to your views and experiences of care to analysing data about services, information and evidence play a vital part in our work.

We're constantly improving the way we use information and evidence. The most important ways we use information in our work are:

  • We gather and analyse information when services register, through continual monitoring and when we inspect them, and we listen to your views and experiences of care.
  • We look at potential changes in quality by bringing together relevant information about a provider.
  • We look at data and use it to monitor services continuously. It helps us to make sure the decisions we make are based on sound evidence.
  • We use our Insight model to make decisions about what action to take.
  • We make sure the information and data we hold is of a high quality and is as complete as possible. We will continue to find ways to make our information and data easily available to people we work with.
  • We handle the information we hold carefully, making sure that the privacy, dignity and rights of people who use care services – and others whose information we have access to – are respected and protected.
  • We publish our inspection reports and ratings to give you clear information, help you make choices and to help services improve.

Listening to people who use services

We listen to and act on experiences of care in our inspections and throughout our work.  We monitor changes in quality by bringing together what people who use services are telling us, knowledge from our inspections and data from our partners.

We share our monitoring data with partners appropriately to improve efficiency and reduce duplicate requests for information from services.

Continuous monitoring

Information we use to monitor services includes:

  • Data on on safety and quality, which helps us to plan our inspection activity.
  • Information about people's experiences of care and the views of their families.
  • Comments from staff and carers, specifically safeguarding and whistleblowing alerts.
  • Other information that we collect directly from care providers.

Using data to monitor services

CQC Insight

We have developed Insight to monitor the quality of care. We have specific Insight tools for the different health and care sectors.


  • incorporates data indicators that align to our key lines of enquiry for that sector
  • brings together information from people who use services, knowledge from our inspections and data from our partners
  • indicates where the risk to the quality of care provided is greatest
  • monitors change over time for each of the measures
  • points to services where the quality may be improving

The data we look at

The data we analyse is about things that indicate whether the care people are receiving is safe, effective, caring, responsive to their needs and well-led. This includes waiting times, mortality rates and feedback from staff and people who use services.

We look at different data in different sectors.

What it tells us

Insight identifies issues about the quality and safety of care, but we don't use this on its own to make judgements. We can only reach judgements about the quality of care after we've carried out an inspection.

We inspect all new services. Then we focus follow-up inspections on those where our insight suggests risk is greatest or quality is improving. We will update ratings where we find changes. We use unannounced inspections to focus on areas where our insight suggests risk is greatest.

By targeting our inspections in this way, we will recognise improvement and identify and act on poor care.

We compare the information we collect across England to help us pinpoint differences from national averages or agreed national standards. The action we take depends on what kind of variation we've identified - we might inspect or we may contact the service to find out more.