Will the advent of enhanced restrictions to visits to care homes delay CQC’s return to physical inspections?

Following the Government’s announcement of more restrictions in order to try and manage increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, questions have been raised about how likely the measures will be to impact upon the CQC’s return to “crossing the threshold” to physically inspect health and social care providers.

The short answer is that we don’t know yet. As with all things related to this virus the goalposts shift at  speed.  The return to physical inspections as has been planned was to be executed in a measured manner in any event so the likelihood is that the new restrictions are unlikely to alter the planned course of the CQC’s return to a more hands-on approach with health and social care providers.  There is likely to be increased calls upon the regulator to ensure that those that do cross the threshold are properly tested and adhere to best practice in respect of infection control when conducting such visits.

It has not gone unnoticed that the predicted period of 6 months that new restrictions could apply will take us to the end of March; which coincidentally is when the CQC is set to embark on its new vision for regulating the sector.