Care Quality Commission
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CQC publishes response to consultation on flexible and responsive regulation

CQC yesterday published their response to a recent consultation on changes for more flexible and responsive regulation. This followed on from our main strategy consultation earlier in January 2021.

The proposals were designed to:

  • allow CQC to assess and rate services more flexibly, so we can update our ratings more often in a more responsive and proportionate way
  • make ratings easier to understand for everyone.

We received 566 responses from people who use services, health and care providers and commissioners, CQC colleagues and other stakeholders. At a time of great pressure for health and care services, we welcome and thank those who took the time to respond.

Responses indicated broad overall support across our proposals:

  • Strong support for using a wider range of regulatory approaches to assess quality, and not just rely on full on-site inspections
  • Strong support for reviewing and updating ratings (or judgements of quality in service types that we don’t rate) in a more flexible way, rather than following a fixed schedule of inspections
  • Many respondents also thought our proposed approaches would have a positive impact on CQC’s relationship with service providers. They told us they valued the way we engaged with them during the pandemic and welcome opportunities for more collaborative working in the future.

There were also concerns or queries in some areas. For example, on the importance and role of on-site inspections now and in our future assessment approach, and relating to the reliability and availability of data that we’ll use to change ratings. We address these queries in our responses to each consultation question.

Respondents wanted more detail on how we will implement the proposals. We will shortly publish further information to explain what the changes mean in practice, and how and when we’ll implement them.


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