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Care Quality Commission consults on changes to regulatory inspection process

11 March 2021
6 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 5


Emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, from the University of Southampton, discusses a recent initiative from the Care Quality Commission to fundamentally change its method of health and social care inspections

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has launched a public consultation with the aim of introducing changes to its current inspection methodology (CQC, 2021). The move was precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven the regulator to consider amending its inspection strategies to alleviate unnecessary pressures on the NHS.

The decision recognises that the CQC needs to balance its statutory responsibilities with the need to allow hospitals and other providers to concentrate on delivering care while coping with the stresses of increased patient flow. The initiative, which runs until 23 March, reflects the CQC's quest to continue to develop a more targeted, responsive and collaborative approach to regulation in a changing landscape of health and social care.

The original regulator for health care in the guise of the Commission for Healthcare Improvement (CHI) was developed following the Health Act of 1999 with the specific remit of ensuring that clinical governance was fully embedded across the NHS. After 2003, when CHI became part of the Healthcare Commission, a more formal role of inspecting NHS providers was implemented to assess their performance against national standards.

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