COVID-19: Update for adult social care providers

care quality commission

The independent regulator of health and social care in England

COVID-19 Update


16 March 2020


A new weekly update for providers and professionals working in adult social care, sharing the latest guidance on COVID-19 and CQC's approach during this period.

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to update you on changes to our approach to regulation in response to COVID-19.

Our primary objectives during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic will to be to support you to keep people safe during a period of unprecedented pressure on the health and care system,

As a result, we will be stopping inspections from Monday 16 March.

It may be necessary to use some of our inspection powers in a very small number of cases when we have concerns of harm, such as allegations of abuse. However, inspections will not be conducted in their present form during the period of the pandemic. When physical inspections are deemed appropriate, we anticipate having a conversation with the provider before a visit takes place.

Please notify CQC within 24 hours of any suspected or known case or outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19. This means one or more cases involving staff, people who use services, volunteers, visiting professionals, visitors or visiting contractors/suppliers that people within the service have had contact with. 

We encourage everyone to act in the best interests of the health of the people they serve, with the top priority the protection of life. We encourage you to use your discretion and act in the best way you see fit.

Importantly, we want to act as a support for registered managers - our inspection team will be there to provide advice and guidance to the providers throughout this period, and will be implementing the following:

  • In the absence of a single national oversight body like NHS England for adult social care, we will continue to request Provider Information Returns (PIRs).
  • However we will not penalise providers for the late return of PIRs
  • In order to reduce your reporting burden we will share the information we collect from you with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups
  • We will use the information gathered from PIRs to inform and influence government and commissioners to provide support and address issues such as workforce challenges

More than ever, please can you pass my thanks to your dedicated workforce and for your leadership as we pull together during this difficult time to ensure people receive safe care. We will update you further if things change significantly.




Kate Terroni,

Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care

Resident and carer in care home

Guidance on residential care provision

This guidance is aimed at local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care. This includes registered residential care and nursing homes for people with learning disabilities, mental health and/or other disabilities. Access the guidance here.

Supported living

Guidance for supported living provision

This is aimed at local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), community health services and providers of care and support delivered within supported living environments (people in their own homes), including for people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities or autistic adults. Access the guidance here.

There is guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE) for individuals, families and informal care workers of what to do to maintain home care support safely, if they are advised to isolate themselves at home.

Home care

Guidance on home care provision

This guidance is aimed at local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and registered providers, who support and deliver care to people in their own homes, including community health services.

It takes account of latest government advice on self-isolation, set out in guidance issued by Public Health England. There will also be separate guidance setting out arrangements for people in prisons.

Provision of care and support in people’s home is a high priority service, in that most care and support cannot be deferred to another day without putting individuals at risk of harm. It is therefore vital that these services are prioritised and this guidance will support you in doing this. This guidance will be regularly updated. Access the guidance here.

Other guidance

Further information


Follow us on Twitter! 

Keep up with our work with professionals and provider organisations in England by following us on Twitter @CQCProf