What is the CQC (Care Quality Commission) And What Do They Do?

Jul 7, 2022 3 min

The CQC, or the Care Quality Commission, independently regulates health and social care in England. The CQC is in charge of ensuring that people receive the care they need.We’re here to help.

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It regulates care in areas of safety, effectiveness, compassion and quality. These are five standards by which the CQC reviews care providers:

  • Safe – You stay protected from any abuse or harm through registered agencies.
  • Effective – You fully benefit from the treatment or service being provided.
  • Caring – The service hires staff that treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity, and respect.
  • Responsive – The service is organised and quick to respond to your needs.
  • Well-led – the leadership, management, and governance of the organisation make sure it’s providing high-quality care.

What are the CQC’s values?

The CQC defines their values as:

  • Excellence – be high-performing as an organisation
  • Caring – everyone should be treated with dignity and respect
  • Integrity – ensure they’re doing the right thing
  • Teamwork – be the best they can be by learning from each other in the organisation

What does the CQC do?

The Care Quality Commission is where care providers register themselves. After this registration, the CQC monitor, inspect and rate the services provided by them. By doing this they ensure that care recipients are protected and well informed. The CQC has powers to take action against care providers that provide inadequate or poor services.

They keep the public well informed by displaying an easily accessible database of all the care providers registered under the CQC. The profile of each care organisation on this database includes an overall rating and additional information.

How does the CQC work?

The CQC is not only a monitoring organisation but also an advisory one. They start their process by thorough inspections of the care organisation. This may include information and evidence collected through previous and current users of the care providers’ packages of care. Additionally, it also collects data from local groups and organisations. Once the data is gathered, it is analyzed to draw conclusions about the current status of each organisation. This conclusion helps them construct plans of an improvement to ensure the public has access to safe and effective care.

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The CQC carries out a range of inspections and visits alongside the regular inspections, such as children’s services to ensure effective safeguarding, monitoring the Mental Health Act, and inspecting health and care in the criminal justice system. There is more about how the inspection is carried out in the section below.

How is a Care Quality Commission inspection carried out?

The inspection is initiated by an introduction. The inspectors meet with senior staff members of the agency and explain the reason for their visit. Usually, the inspectors like to interview the agency’s staff about their personal performance and the overall performance of the company itself.

Additionally, they also speak to the users of the services of course. This can be done in a group or individually through many methods including comment cars and pop-up stalls. After the information is collected from various sources it is analyzed.

The analysis is done to extrapolate information about performance in certain areas that are outlined in the CQC’s Key Line Of Enquiry. The visit is concluded by providing a feedback session with the senior staff again. In the feedback session, they give an overall summary of their findings. Additionally, they advise the staff on how to improve in areas they need to and bring up any issues that need to be addressed. They will also mention if they are planning follow-up visits and any issues that need to be taken care of by then.

Who do the CQC regulate?

There are many systems and organisations that come under the umbrella of health and care, the examples below include the ones that are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

  • Hospitals, both NHS and private
  • GPs
  • Dentists
  • Ambulances
  • Mental health services
  • Care homes
  • Treatment in people’s own homes
  • Social care services
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What are the ratings provided by the CQC?

The CQC has made a standard rating system that all registered organisations are accountable to. The scale includes outstanding, good, requires improvements, or inadequate. This rating is mentioned against every organisation on their profile which is available on the CQC website. This rating is a result of the data collected from the clientele of such companies. The CQC website has a special option for anyone who wants to leave some input about a certain organisation.

Of course, outstanding is the best of the ratings and inadequate is the worst. If an organisation is rated ‘inadequate’ they face the risk of being shut down if they fail to make improvements suggested by the CQC. Such drastic measures are only taken to ensure the quality of care available to the public meets high standards.


Dr Jamie WilsonFounder and Chief Medical Officer at Hometouch

Dr Jamie Wilson is hometouch’s founder and Chief Medical Officer. Jamie’s creation of hometouch was inspired by his work as a dementia psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has written about healthcare issues in The Times and the Evening Standard. Jamie has a MBBS from the University of Leeds and has spent a decade in the NHS, working as a Psychiatric Registrar and Memory Specialist at Imperial College Hospital.

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