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Consultation launched into whether CQC regulation is ‘appropriate and proportionate’

by Caitlin Tilley
11 July 2022

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The Government has launched a consultation asking whether CQC regulation is ‘appropriate and proportionate’.

The three-week consultation, launched last week, asks about the impact of CQC regulation on providers, including GP practices.

GPs are also invited to express whether they think ‘any changes are required’ for CQC to achieve its objectives ‘with a system that imposes less regulation’.

The Government is seeking views from all providers of CQC-regulated activities, including GPs.

The consultation will look at:

  • Whether the CQC meets its ‘original objectives’;
  • Whether the CQC’s scope is ‘still appropriate and proportionate’;
  • The CQC’s impact on providers; and
  • Whether ‘any changes are required to achieve those objectives with a system that imposes less regulation’ or to ‘change what the regulations prescribe’.

One question in the consultation reads: ‘In your experience, are providers treated fairly and equally by the CQC under the 2014 Regulations across settings (for example, acute hospital, community care, mental health and primary care)?’

The review also asks about the CQC’s pre-pandemic inspection regime, and the estimated amount of time staff spent on preparation and facilitation of the inspection, and post-inspection follow-up work.

The consultation will run until 11.45am on 22 July 2022.

The Government launched a review of arm’s length bodies (ALBs) in May, which could see the CQC abolished.

The CQC said last week it is ‘considering what is the best model’ for primary care regulation, while it announced that its hospitals inspector will take over regulating primary care on an interim basis.

CQC’s Dr Sean O’Kelly will become the interim director for primary care when the current chief inspector of primary care, Dr Rosie Benneyworth, quits this summer to take on a new role as an interim chief investigator at the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB).

At the start of this year, the CQC admitted its inspection and monitoring methodology ‘may inadvertently disadvantage’ ethnic minority-run GP practices and lead to ‘inequities’.

The CQC was also accused of ‘soliciting negative GP feedback’ amid reports of a 176% rise in complaints.

And it revealed its first 40 access focused inspections on GP practices had found ‘no current issues’ at any practice.

The three regulations being reviewed:

  • Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009, which enabled the CQC to:
    • Set and maintain registration requirements and ensure providers meet them
    • Directly collect information from providers
    • Ensure providers comply with regulations
  • Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, which set fundamental standards for care
  • Care Quality Commission (Reviews and Performance Assessments) Regulations 2018
    • Broadened the scope of CQC’s ratings regime


This article was initially published on our sister title Pulse.