Changes to approach to regulation in response to COVID-19

The message below has been shared by CQC. Please read it carefully and share within your organisation.

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