CQC | Update on our next phase of regulation

care quality commission

The independent regulator of health and social care in England

CQC's Next Phase of regulation: consultation update

Our special edition newsletter for providers and professionals working in primary medical services

20 October 2017

Our response to the consultation

In June 2017 we launched the second of our consultations on our next phase approach to regulation. Our response document provides more information about key changes on:

  • Changes to the regulation of primary medical services and adult social care services, including the frequency and intensity of its inspections and how CQC monitors providers and gathers its intelligence.
  • Improvements to the structure of registration and CQC’s definition of ‘registered providers’.
  • How CQC will monitor, inspect and rate new models of care and large or complex providers.
  • Updated approach to the ‘fit and proper persons’ requirement. 

    Changes to registration

    We will make changes to registration that will allow us to hold people to account at the right level when regulating providers. We will continue to inspect at location level.

    • We will require all entities meeting our revised criteria for defining a provider to be registered with CQC. This requirement will be implemented in a phased way across different types of provider, with the first registrations of this nature in 2018/19. We will publish the schedule for these changes once detailed impact assessments have been completed. By implementing these changes we will make ownership relationships and links between providers clear to the public on our register.
    • We will implement the proposals to registration structure in a phased way through provider information collections and as providers make changes to their registration. The information will describe the provider and the services it provides. Providers will need to inform us when these details change. In some instances, they will need to apply to us and have the change agreed before changing their service provision.

    Updated guidance for providers online 

    We have restructured the Guidance for Providers section of our website in response to feedback we have received over the past two years. Choose your sector from the main Guidance for Providers page to see the information that’s relevant to you.

    When will our key changes happen?

    From November 2017

    • New assessment framework – We will introduce the new assessment framework for health care services in our inspections of: general practices; GP out-of-hours services; NHS 111 services; and independent doctor services. 
    • Changes to inspection intervals – We will start to introduce maximum intervals between inspections of five years for providers rated as good and outstanding, although every year we will inspect a proportion. We will continue to re-inspect practices rated as inadequate after six months and those rated as requires improvement within 12 months. 
    • Improved inspection report – Our inspection reports will be significantly shorter and easier to read.

    From April 2018

    • Further changes to inspection report – Our reports will be streamlined further. The shortened report is being developed and tested before we introduce it fully in April 2018. It will still include a summary from the Chief Inspector, with more detail contained in an evidence table as an appendix to the report. 
    • Inspecting and rating population groups – We will continue to refine our approach to inspecting and rating population groups. We want to ensure that these changes will make our ratings easier to understand while highlighting the quality of care for individual population groups.  
    • Focused inspections – Most of our inspections of providers rated as good and outstanding will be focused rather than comprehensive. The focus will be determined by what we know about each service – including data, information from the provider and other stakeholders, and the findings from our previous inspections. 

    During 2018

    • New system of provider information collection – Practices will be asked to share information with us on changes once a year. In line with our commitment to reduce the demand on GP practices we will not introduce this new process until our new digital systems are in place. We will continue to use a provider information request as part of pre-inspection planning until the provider information collection is introduced.  

    To follow conversations about the next phase consultation or to ask us questions, follow @CareQualityComm and #CQCnextphase on Twitter.