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Nurs Stand. 2015 Jul 29;29(48):42-6. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.48.42.e9806.

Participant experience of a Care Quality Commission inspection.

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Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, Brighton, England.


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the regulator for health and social care in England. It sets and monitors standards of care and has legal powers to take action when those standards are not met. The CQC now regulates primary care as well as hospital, community and social care, with significant influence on nursing practice and the conduct of care. This article explains the role and function of the CQC and the circumstances in which its current model was devised. It discusses the commission's comprehensive inspection approach, with particular reference to mental health settings. The article aims to demystify the inspection process and put it into context, drawing on the experiences of a director of nursing, an expert by experience and a nursing specialist adviser who participated in a comprehensive inspection.


Care Quality Commission; comprehensive inspection; conduct of care; experts by experience; inspection policy; nursing care; regulation; specialist advisers; standards of care

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