2 minutes

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), are the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. They ensure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care with the objective of encouraging care services to improve.

The CQC register health and adult social care services that meet the ‘fundamental standards’ of quality and safety. They monitor the services provided at individual locations as well the controlling organisation including private and NHS.

Before a care provider can carry out any of the activities that the CQC regulate, they must register with them to ensure they can meet a number of legal requirements. Activities regulated by the CQC include the treatment, care and support provided by:

  • Hospitals, NHS and independent
  • GP practices, including walk-in and out-of-hours services
  • Dental practices, NHS and private
  • Ambulance services
  • Care homes including residential care and nursing homes
  • Home-care agencies
  • Clinics, including family planning & slimming
  • Mental health, hospital and community-based services
  • Community-based health and care services

The CQC continuously monitor and inspect the service providers to ensure they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. The data they gather, which includes the views of the public, helps them decide when, where and what to inspect.

There are five questions the CQC ask of all providers, they are:

  • Is it safe? Are service users protected from abuse and avoidable harm?
  • Is it effective? Does the service provided achieve good results and help maintain quality of life?
  • Is it caring? Do the staff involve the service users and treat them with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect?
  • Is it responsive? Are services organised so that they can meet a user’s needs?
  • Is it well-led? Does the leadership of the organisation make sure that it’s providing high-quality care that’s based around user needs? And does it encourage learning and innovation and promote an open and fair culture?

In response to the above the inspectors will give one of the following ratings for each of the five key questions.

  • Outstanding
  • Good
  • Requires Improvement
  • Inadequate

They will also provide an overall rating by combining the responses to the above question.