Using data to monitor services

Page last updated: 12 May 2022

One of our priorities in our strategy for 2016 to 2021 is to make greater use of intelligence in the way we regulate 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.