The Care Quality Commission (otherwise known as the CQC) is a regulator of adult social care and healthcare services in the UK. They ensure that the care that is provided by hospitals, dentists, ambulances, home care agencies, and care homes meets all of the safety and quality standards set in place by the government. They also register all adult health and social care services across the entire country of England, and inspect every single one of them in order to check whether or not the standards are being met; the inspections that they carry out are a regular occurrence and can also take place if they are responding to any concerns that have been raised. They almost never announce when they are going to be carrying out their inspections too, which means care agencies and other providers of care services must be carrying out care that meets all of the government guidelines.
What Does The CQC Regulate
To put it simply, the Care Quality Commission regulates all healthcare and social services; their power of regulation comes from the Health and Social Act 2008, and the regulations that are set out within the Act. Any registered care service that is established as a regulated activity must be registered with the CQC in order to be able to provide care legally. If you are not registered with the CQC and you are carrying out these services, you are committing an offence and can be prosecuted.
There are a few different types of care that is carried out and regulated by the Care Quality Commission, and they correspond to the care that is mainly carried out by care homes, hospitals, and dentists. The kinds of care services that the CQC regulate include the following:
- NHS Services – These types of services include trusts, hospitals, and community health services.
- Independent Healthcare – This includes private clinics and private hospitals.
- Dentists – All services carried out by dentists are regulated by the CQC.
- Adult Social Care – This is also known as domiciliary care and includes nursing homes, care homes, and other agencies that provide personal care within the home of their client. The majority of services registered with the Care Quality Commission are within this sector.
- Out Of Hours GP Services – GP services carried out during the night time or the weekends are regulated, and this now includes every single GP practice in England as of 1st April 2013.
Does The CQC Have Additional Powers?
Alongside the regulation of care services in England, the Care Quality Commission also have other additional powers and responsibilities; this includes protecting the interests of people whose rights have been restricted under the Mental Health Act. The CQC help to ensure that the laws surrounding mental health are being stuck to and used correctly, and also that the patients in question are being cared for properly when they are being detained in hospital or are on a community treatment order.
The Four Main Parts Of Their Regulations
There are four main parts of the regulatory work that the CQC carry out, which are:
- Registration – As part of the registration process, any care provider that is regulated under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 must give evidence that proves that they are able to provide a level of care that meets all of the government standards.
- Inspection and Monitoring – When the CQC has approved an application, they monitor them to make sure that they are providing the proper level of service at each of their locations. The Care Quality Commission have three key forms of inspections, which are scheduled, responsive, and themed. All of the inspections are different and are used for different situations.
- Enforcement – If the CQC find that a care service is not meeting all of the requirements laid out by the government, they will take immediate action against the care provider. The enforcement that they carry out is never blown out of proportion, and is in line with the guidelines that are not being met. At the Care Quality Commission, they have a comprehensive range of enforcement powers that are available to them, so it is very important that anyone providing care services are doing so properly.
- Publication – The results of each and every inspection that the CQC carry out are published in order to help the public to make an informed decision about which care service that they should use. They publish their reports on their website, and issuing local media releases if enforcement action has been taken against a care provider.
At Golden Services, we are proud to say that as a home care provider in Oxfordshire, we have been awarded ‘Outstanding’ in care three times by the Care Quality Commission, and you can find our most recent report by visiting www.cqc.org.uk.