You are here

CQC Regulatory Sandbox round 1 - Digital Triage (clinical decision support)

  • Public

We're inviting innovators and services that involve digital clinical triage to CQC’s Regulatory Sandbox.

The Sandbox is a collaborative space where providers, innovators, and CQC come together to:

  • help to define what good quality care means (for digital clinical triage), and publish that for the rest of the sector
  • develop CQC’s methodology
  • register new types of service providers (where they fall within our Regulated Activities)
  • provide the regulatory clarity and support required to deploy innovation safely in health and care services

Why CQC is doing this

We're testing this approach to policy development for three reasons:

  • to support and encourage high quality care through innovation
  • to cut the time it takes for CQC to regulate new types of service or new innovations in care
  • to ensure our regulatory approach reflects the needs of providers and people who use services

CQC believes it can get better at developing how to regulate innovative services. We'll do this by building a team from across our functions to work with organisations we regulate to tackle new types of service together.

Digital triage

Triage is a central part of a patients’ pathway and this work will be looking at services that deliver an element of triage through a digital method, this could include accessing specialist advice and clinical decision support.  We want to understand what good looks like in this type of service, and will do this by working with providers, innovators and other stakeholders.

CQC developed some additional prompts for triage apps used by online primary care providers earlier this year. This round seeks to build on that knowledge in partnership with providers across care settings to validate the prompts for wider use.

Benefits of joining

Providers will be able to:

  • shape and define how the sector is measured and help improve CQC’s regulatory methodology
  • learn in a network of providers and innovators that are delivering the same service
  • be recognised by your key stakeholders
  • register with CQC if required
  • equip yourself to navigate CQC and other regulators

Travel expenses will be reimbursed. Entering the sandbox will not prejudice the rating by CQC or other regulatory outcomes from CQC.

What you're signing up to

At a minimum, we expect participants to:

  • attend two co-production workshops on Monday 16 and Thursday 26 September in London
  • be open, support the sandbox team to understand the nature of the solution, and what good looks like
  • complete one or two information returns
  • allow for a site visit
  • review a final report

Participants are also invited to:

  • join daily open stand-ups (virtual)
  • review the tools and guidance that we test
  • celebrate our achievements at a final summit, setting out our policy findings publicly

The sandbox team will:

  • treat all providers fairly
  • listen well to participants
  • be open and seek input on our thinking
  • be team-players


There are between three and six places available, with a maximum of two from each sector (primary care, urgent care, outpatient’s diagnostics surgery, mental health, cross cutting). These will be selected by a panel which will include members of the Regulator’s Pioneer Fund Project, colleagues from the CQC policy team with a specific interest in this area, a national professional advisor and a patient representative. The panel will be held on Friday 6 September 2019.

1. Representation

Is the organisation sufficiently different from the other organisations selected for this round? [subjective panel score 1-4]

  • We will seek to select a variety of organisations in terms of their business models and working arrangements
  • We will seek to select a variety of organisations in terms of their technical functionality

Does the organisation’s offer on digital triage represent an area of the market that can be expected to grow? [subjective panel score 1-4]

Does the organisation’s offer on digital triage present new challenges or opportunities for CQC or the sector? [subjective panel score 1-4]

2. Is the organisation in scope?

Is the organisation currently providing or working with clinical services in England? [pass/fail]

Is the organisation offering, adopting, or delivering, a digital triage service? [pass/fail]

3. How willing and able are the applicants to engage in the sandbox?

Has the organisation demonstrated sufficient understanding to take part in the sandbox? [subjective panel score 1-4]

Has the organisation demonstrated sufficient motivation to take part in the sandbox? [subjective panel score 1-4]

Can the organisation commit to the sandbox work-programme including key dates set out in the application process? [subjective panel score 1-4]

Is it clear how the organisation will contribute to improving quality of care for people who use services? [subjective panel score 1-4]


Score 1: The organisation does not meet the selection criteria

Score 2: The organisation is limited with meeting the selection criteria

Score 3: The organisation partially but not fully meets the selection criteria

Score 4: The organisation fully meets the selection criteria

How to apply

Please submit your application using this form, no later than 2pm on Thursday 5 September 2019.

All applicants will be informed of the outcome by Wednesday 11 September.

Last updated:
23 August 2019


Help us improve this page