What do the CQC’s changes mean for healthcare providers?

Due to our current climate, the CQC are taking measures to assist care providers by changing the way they work to ensure they continue to help support the healthcare industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The CQC has produced guidance on its website that it is updating regularly to help support providers during this difficult time, and assist providers to focus their resources on front line care. 
The following measures are now in place:

Suspension of routine inspections

The CQC has currently suspended all routine inspections to reduce the pressure on health and social care services. There will still be monitoring in place using other forms of data and information and they will still be carrying out inspections if they feel service users are at risk or for any reports of abuse. 

The intention of this is to free up time for the providers to focus on the essentials and will be a welcome reprieve especially for those that are currently preparing for an inspection, which can be a very time consuming task for leadership teams.

Notification of COVID-19 outbreaks to the CQC

To assist service providers in understanding what they should do in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 within their remit, the CQC have provided clear guidance and processes to follow. 

This explains that only outbreaks that effect the day-to-day running of the business need to be notified to the CQC. This will assist providers in reducing the amount of work required under normal circumstances when there is a disruption to the safe running of services. 

Further guidance on how and when to notify the CQC of an outbreak can be found here...

Registration process to support COVID-19 contingency plans 

For service providers planning to make an application to help support DHSC or CCG COVID-19 contingency plans, the CQC have provided a prioritised and streamlined process in order to speed up the registration process. This process supports existing providers making a registration change or any setting up a new service to provide additional capacity.

This could also allow you to make changes to your service whilst the registration is in the process of been changed. This could be for the following reasons:

  • New diagnostic and screen procedures
  • New triage and advice services
  • New buildings, wards, treatment centres or beds on a site you have already registered
  • NHS trusts using new buildings, other locations (such as field hospitals), wards, treatment centres or beds at HQ or existing hospital
  • New triage and advice services

Further guidance on how you can register to support contingency plans can be found here...

Personal protective equipment (PPE) 

As of 1st April, the CQC are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to provide further guidance for care providers to understand what is happening to help support the supply chain. This includes outlining the national guidance on the usage of PPE in the healthcare sector and more importantly how to contact the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) in the event of any urgent requirements for PPE providers are not able to get this through their usual supply channels.

Access the PPE support network here...  

Interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks

The primary aim of the interim DBS changes made by the DHSC, the Home Office and DBS is to ensure the DBS is rapidly able to meet the additional demand for DBS checks during the coronavirus pandemic, supporting health and social care providers to quickly recruit and deploy larger numbers of staff and volunteers to deal with the emergency. 

Providers are offered a fast, free Barred List DBS check for emergency roles being recruited in response to a provider risk assessment. Enhanced DBS check information will still be processed, but will be issued afterwards.  Providers may start coronavirus appointed staff based on a satisfactory fast-tracked barred list(s) check while waiting for the full DBS check. 

This guidance applies to individuals being recruited, including volunteers, as a consequence of and during the coronavirus pandemic and where the following three considerations apply:

  • providers need to start staff urgently
  • waiting for a full DBS check could cause undue delay
  • this delay leads to risks to the continuity of service, impacting the safety and wellbeing of people using that service.

Further guidance on interim DBS and recruitment checks can be found here...

In response to the impact of the outbreak being felt by businesses all over the UK, Marsh Commercial have created a resource centre to house all important news and information to update you on the potential implications for your business. Visit our

Coronavirus Resource Centre...