Recommendation 56

Communicating the Care Quality Commission’s strategic direction

The leadership of the Care Quality Commission should communicate clearly and persuasively its strategic direction to the public and to its staff, with a degree of clarity that may have been missing to date.

In April 2013 the Care Quality Commission published its new three year strategy, Raising Standards, putting people first – our strategy 2013-16. This document sets out how the Care Quality Commission will make major changes to what it does and how it does it. This was reinforced in June 2013, when the Care Quality Commission issued A new start – Consultation on changes to the way CQC regulates, inspects and monitors care to start the public discussion on what the fundamental standards of care should be and how surveillance, inspection and monitoring might work. On 17 October 2013, it published the responses to the consultation in A new start: Responses to our consultation on changes to the way CQC regulates, inspects and monitors care services, which showed that there is broad agreement with the new approach.

Chief Inspectors of Hospitals, General Practice and Adult Social Care have been appointed and will start a similar process of consultation and engagement on new regulatory approaches for their sectors. The Deputy Chief Inspector of Mental Health will report to the Chief Inspector of Hospitals on how they apply to mental health services.


Between 9 April and 4 June 2014 the Care Quality Commission consulted on how it planned to change the way it regulates, inspects and rate care services. The changes include things like:

  • what CQC look at on an inspection.
  • how CQC judge what ‘good’ care looks like.
  • how CQC rate care services to help people judge and choose care if they want to.
  • how CQC use information to help decide when and where to inspect.

The Care Quality Commission has published consultation handbooks for seven services and consulted on enforcing the fundamental standards. More information is provided in response to recommendation 14.

In July 2014, the Care Quality Commission published a consultation on guidance for providers meeting the fundamental standards and on CQC’s enforcement powers.

The consultation closed on 17 October 2014. The Care Quality Commission published its guidance on the Fit and Proper Persons Requirement and Duty of Candour for NHS providers in November 2014. Guidance on the fundamental standards will be published for all sectors in March 2015, in time for the regulations to come into force on 1 April 2015.

As part of its 2014-15 business plan the Care Quality Commission has published details of how it will measure its impact, outcomes, quality, effectiveness and internal capabilities. See response to recommendation 55.