• CQC’s clinically qualified advisers redeployed to other services
  • Staff at the regulator will be seconded to DHSC, PHE and NHSE
  • Routine inspections have been suspended

The Care Quality Commission has said it will send special advisers to other parts of the NHS as they continue to be challenged by the coronavirus pandemic.

The regulator has said it will release its clinically qualified special advisers to work in the NHS, and some other staff will be redeployed to the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and NHS England to help with the wider national response.

The CQC’s customer contact centre is also expected to start taking non-clinical covid-19 calls to support NHS 111 from next week.

A statement from the regulator said: “CQC staff stand ready to help any other part of the national effort whether that be in the public or private sector.”

The CQC told HSJ it is urgently developing “an interim targeted methodology” which would “shift the emphasis from inspection to a broader regulatory approach” during the outbreak, and “for a period of time afterwards”.

It follows the CQC’s decision yesterday to suspend its routine inspections of providers. The watchdog had come under pressure to halt inspections as the NHS dealt with the covid-19 outbreak

CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm said yesterday: “During this period, our priority will be to support those who deliver health and social care to keep people safe during this global health emergency.

“It may still be necessary to use our inspection powers in a very small number of cases when there is clear evidence of harm, such as allegations of abuse.”

HSJ has asked the CQC for more details on the staff being seconded and the roles they are being seconded to.