Last reviewed 12 January 2021

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has launched a consultation on its draft strategy, which has been developed to enable more effective regulation for the future.

The CQC said it needs to change the way it regulates so that it is more relevant, and can work with health and care services to find solutions to problems and improve outcomes for everyone. It also said it needs to be more flexible to manage risk and uncertainty.

The regulator said that, as the world of health and care was changing rapidly, it needs to “make changes to the way we regulate so that it’s more relevant and more flexible.”

The four themes have been published in the draft strategy. They are:

  • people and communities

  • smarter regulation

  • safety through learning

  • accelerating improvement.

The regulator said it wants a greater focus on regulation that is driven by experiences of the public and local communities and what they expect and need from health and care services when they access, use and move between services.

The draft strategy set out how assessments could be made more flexible and dynamic by updating ratings more often, being smarter with data and having a sharper focus on what is looked at in an assessment.

The regulator also wants to encourage stronger safety cultures by expecting learning and improvement to be the primary response to all safety concerns in all types of service. When safety does not improve and lessons are not learnt, the CQC said it will take action to protect people.

It will also target priority areas that need support the most, with improvement being sought within individual services and in the way they work together as a system to ensure people get the care they need.

The consultation is running for eight weeks from 7 January to 4 March 2021 and is available at:

The CQC aims to launch a second consultation later in January on proposals that will shape its response to the pandemic in the short term, enabling it to assess performance and rate services in a more flexible and responsive way to meet the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This will also lay the foundations to deliver the next strategy and future regulatory model.