Update to CQC’s regulatory approach: changes from 1 February 2022

Topics covered: COVID-19, CQC, CQC inspection

In December 2021, CQC postponed its inspections of some services in order to support the acceleration of the vaccination booster programme and prioritise activity to “help create more capacity in adult social care.” CQC has now taking into account the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the country and has reviewed and updated its regulatory approach, with changes coming into effect from 1 February 2022.

On 27 January 2022, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Chief Inspector of Hospitals and Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care published a joint statement explaining that:

 “From 1 February we will inspect where:

  • there is evidence that people are at risk of harm. This applies to all health and social care services, including those where inspections were previously postponed except in cases where we had evidence of risk to life
  • we can support increasing capacity across the system, particularly in adult social care
  • a focus on the urgent and emergency care system will help us understand the pressures, where local or national support is needed, and share good practice to drive improvement.

We will restart work to coordinate our approach to inspecting urgent and emergency care pathways. Where we identify risk, we will look at how services across a system are working together. This will help us understand where the pressures are and any needs for local or national support. We will share the good practice we see to help drive change and improvement that could benefit people using services and staff delivering care.

Much of our approach is unchanged and remains in line with the update from our Chief Inspectors on 10 December 2021.

This includes:

  • achieving our ambition to complete 1,000 infection prevention and control (IPC) inspections in adult social care
  • rapid response to requests to set up new Designated Settings
  • activity to rate adult social care services that are registered and not yet rated
  • inspections of adult social care providers currently rated as Requires Improvement to identify where improvement has taken place and re-rate where possible.”

CQC has confirmed that alongside its risk-based activity it will continue to undertake ongoing monitoring of services to identify where it might need to take further action to ensure people are receiving safe care.

A copy of CQC’s statement can be accessed at the following link:


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