NHS Providers publishes key recommendations for CQC reform

21 March 2024

NHS Providers has today launched a comprehensive report on how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) can improve its approach to regulation.

Good quality regulation: How CQC can support trusts to deliver and improve outlines key areas for improvement to enhance support and constructive engagement between CQC and trusts.

In response to feedback from trust leaders indicating declining confidence in the regulatory body, NHS Providers has conducted extensive research to identify the characteristics of effective quality and safety regulation.

Trust leaders support the vital role of regulation in ensuring high-quality healthcare services, as this report shows, but they remain concerned about CQC's approach. NHS Providers is calling for changes that include greater emphasis on facilitating improvement and innovation in provider organisations.

The report's 10 recommendations to update CQC's approach include:

The report also emphasises the importance of "right-touch" regulation principles, including proportionality, consistency, transparency, and agility, as well as the concept of responsive regulation.

Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive, NHS Providers said:

"Our report highlights the vital importance of collaborative and transparent relationships between regulators and healthcare providers.

"Effective regulation should not only ensure high-quality healthcare services but also support providers in their journey towards improvement and innovation.

"The recommendations aim to improve regulation by promoting right-touch regulation principles and enhancing the credibility of inspection activities.

"We urge CQC to fully embrace these recommendations and work collaboratively with providers to build trust and confidence in the regulatory framework, which will ultimately help ensure the high-quality care that patients deserve."