COVID-19: CQC Suspends Routine Inspections

Nicky Broyd

March 16, 2020

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has suspended all routine inspections in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The regulator has written to health and social care providers to inform them of emergency plans to:

  • Halt routine inspections from today (16th March 2020)

  • Move to remote methods of safety and quality of care assurance

The letter said: "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."

Some urgent inspections will continue, the CQC said. These might include serious cases such as abuse allegations.

CQC advisors who are medically trained have returned to frontline NHS duties and other staff have already been seconded to work elsewhere in the system.

Social Care

In addition, adult social care providers were asked to notify the 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".

Ian Trenholm chief executive of the CQC said in a statement: "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."

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