Care Quality Commission (CQC)

These are the standards everybody has a right to expect when they receive care. They form part of legal changes recommended by Sir Robert Francis following his inquiry into care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The CQC do this by monitoring, inspecting and regulating services, and by publishing what they find to help people choose the right standard of care.

Inspection and ratings

To get to the heart of people's experiences of care and support, the focus of inspections is on the quality and safety of services, based on the things that matter to people. 5 key questions are asked about the service.

Are they:

  • Safe?
  • Effective?
  • Caring?
  • Responsive to people's needs?
  • Well-led?

To help inspection teams direct the focus of their inspections, they use a standard set of 'key lines of enquiry' (KLOEs) and prompts. KLOEs help them to form a judgement about the quality of the service, determine a rating for each of the 5 key questions, and where relevant, produce an overall rating for the service. Ratings are an important part of the inspection process and use a 4-point scale: outstanding, good, requires improvement, or inadequate.

Last updated: August 2023