Inspection and registration of care services

All care providers must be registered under a system introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2008, which brings adult social care, independent healthcare and the NHS under a single set of essential standards of quality and safety for the first time.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They regulate care provided through a range of methods including:

• registering providers to ensure they are meeting the essential standards of quality and safety;
• monitoring how providers comply with the standards;
• promoting improvement in services;
• using enforcement powers where necessary; and
• publishing up to date information about the compliance of adult social care providers with essential standards of safety and quality.

Following an inspection, each service is given a report of how it rates against national essential standards of quality and safety. Each service’s report can be seen on the CQC website: For any enquiries or to register a concern or a complaint, contact CQC by telephone: 03000 616161 or by email:

The Local Government Ombudsman can also help with complaints: PO Box 4771, Coventry CV4 0EH. Tel: 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983.

When considering care services, it’s always a good idea to check a service’s inspection report on the Care Quality Commission’s comprehensive website: