Care Quality Commission and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales Regulations
What is the role of Care Quality commission and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales?
The CQC is the regulator of health and social care in England whilst in Wales the HIW inspect and regulate healthcare services. Both are responsible for regulating NHS bodies as well private hospitals and providers, GP surgeries, dental practices, care homes, nursing homes and other healthcare organisations. All organisations are required to be registered with the CQC and HIW, and submit to either announced inspections on a periodic basis as well as unannounced inspections.
Care quality standards
CQC and HIW inspections are focussed on holding providers accountable against a range of standards, policies, guidance and regulations to ensure the provision of safe and effective care. Following inspections reports are published. The CQC and HIW can take enforcement action if they consider standards are not being met and regulations are being breached. Action can include formal notice of required improvement, suspension of CQC/HIW registration and the closing down of a service altogether by removing its CQC/HIW registration.
As well as the direct impacts, the results and reports of CQC/HIW inspections are available to the public and required to be prominent and accessible on an organisation’s website. A poor inspection therefore carries a real risk of reputational harm for individuals and businesses. Beyond that and enforcement action, CQC and HIW interventions can also have wider consequences including referral to healthcare professional regulators (GMC, GDC, HCPC), even prompting criminal prosecution in some circumstances.
Any intervention by the CQC or HIW may therefore be concerning. More so if notice of enforcement action is given. Responses to the CQC or HIW must be handled carefully, and very often within inflexible time constraints.
We have a dedicated team of experts with a strong track record of assisting providers of healthcare services and registered individuals with inspections and enforcement action undertaken by the CQC and HIW. We also assist with registration applications and compliance issues outside of the context of inspections. We deliver pragmatic, realistic and costed advice focused on achieving the best possible outcome for you and your organisation. We know the regulators and what they expect and require and often advise on pre-emptive compliance, ensuring policies, processes and management are appropriate to minimise the prospect of concerns arising in the first place. In the event of notice of an adverse report or enforcement action we assist with challenges and responses to reports, as well as remediation plans and mitigating steps. This ensures responses to the CQC/HIW are both effective and also minimise the risk of any parallel regulatory action being initiated.
With the CQC and HIW, time is often of the essence. We can provide legal help as soon as you are notified of an CQC and HIW inspection. Early advice and guidance can help to reduce the risk of serious consequences for you and your business.