CQC halts inspections in wake of COVID-19

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that it will be stopping routine inspections from today, Monday 16 March.

The CQC issued a statement saying that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation's primary objective will be to support providers to keep people safe during a period of unprecedented pressure on the health and care system. 

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, said: “During this period, our priority will be to support those who deliver health and social care to keep people safe during this global health emergency. We will therefore be stopping routine inspections from today. It may still be necessary to use our inspection powers in a very small number of cases when there is clear evidence of harm, such as allegations of abuse.

"In adult social care, our inspectors will also be acting as a support for registered managers, providing advice and guidance throughout this period in the absence of a single national body equivalent to NHS England. We are talking to social care providers about how to most effectively collect information from them to ensure that the Government has a clear picture of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the sector."

Other support that CQC is offering the system includes the return of clinically qualified CQC special advisors to the frontline to help with the wider national response; secondments of staff to DHSC, Public Health England and NHS England. The customer contact centre expects to start taking non-clinical COVID-19 calls from next week in support of 111.