CQC inspections have “little measurable impact” on services, analysis finds


The BMJ has reported a lack of evidence that the inspection regime of the Care Quality Commission improves services.

Can we now expect similar scrutiny of UKAS’s inspections of pathology services?

We might predict that those employed in the lab services would be supportive of inspections.  This might be largely genuine since it is hard to put in the extraordinary work demanded while believing much of it is worthless.  We think an objective measure would reach similar conclusions to those about the CQC.

In future the CQC is going to make its inspections more risk-based – they’ve been reading the management ISOs.

CQC inspections have “little measurable impact” on services, analysis finds

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4078 (Published 27 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k4078

The inspection regime introduced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2013 has had little measurable impact on services such as emergency care, maternity care, and GP prescribing, a government funded report has said.

Although care providers generally say that the regulator’s regime of intensive inspection has been beneficial, a team from the King’s Fund and Manchester University found that supporting evidence is elusive.

The report concludes that a “resource-intensive and very high-profile system of inspection and rating does not seem to have had more than quite small and mixed effects on available performance indicators.”

Commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Policy Research Programme, the report also finds little evidence that patients used CQC ratings to choose where to go for care or that “intelligent monitoring,” used by the regulator to target inspections towards particular organisations, showed any correlation with what inspectors found when they got there.

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