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Regulation, legislation and coronavirus

Regulations and legislation affecting care providers are being temporarily changed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It is very important that providers understand these changes and the implications for their services.


CQC plans to monitor infection prevention and control – 9 October 2020 – CQC

 CQC has updated their approach to monitor infection prevention and control (IPC) over winter. This includes IPC inspections in hospital and adult social care locations, with an update on publishing the first 400 reports from this work. Read the full news story and find more information on CQC IPC reports on CQC’s website.

Care Quality Commission advice and updates on their response to coronavirus.

CQC Joint Chief Inspector statement on Transitional Regulatory Approach – 16 September 2020 - CQC

CQC has published a statement that sets out how they will regulate during the next phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Updating on how, from 6th October, they will begin to roll out their transitional regulatory approach, starting with adult social care services.

CQC COVID-19 Insight report – 16 September 2020 - CQC

CQC’s latest COVID-19 Insight report explores good practice in infection prevention and control (IPC) across all sectors including adult social care. Full findings will be shared in November, but across our special programme of inspections of IPC in 300 care homes they found more than 90% assurance across the areas asked.

They have identified a small number of adult social care providers where they have concerns around IPC policy and effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes;

  • PPE not being used in line with current government guidance
  • No COVID-19 risk assessments in place or being out of date
  • Staff not wearing PPE

Access to hospital care and treatment – 14 August 2020 - CQC

CQC statement for providers on the importance of older and disabled people living in care homes and in the community accessing hospital care and treatment for COVID-19 and other conditions when they need it. If providers are putting in place local guidelines or decision-making protocols on access to care and treatment, these should always ensure that clinical decisions and pathways are not discriminatory and enable equal access to hospital care.

COVID-19 testing for CQC inspectors, PPE, inspectors signing disclaimers against insurance claims – 14 August 2020 - CQCs

CQC message to providers on CQC position on COVID-19 testing for CQC inspectors; PPE for inspectors and inspectors signing disclaimers against insurance claims.

Provider Collaboration Review – CQC

CQC would like views on their ideas for potential future Provider Collaboration Reviews, and hear thoughts on any other topics or population groups that they should focus on. Their provider collaboration reviews (PCRs) look at how health and social care providers are working together in local areas. They aim to help providers learn from each other’s experience of responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).

CQC’s ambition is to look at provider collaboration in all Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) areas.

Regulatory contact by end of March 2021, plus Transitional Regulatory Approach – 13 August - CQC

CQC aims to make regulatory contact with all adult social care providers by the end of March 2021. And from September 2020, the CQC will be moving towards a ‘Transitional Regulatory Approach’ to monitoring, which may include visiting providers. CQC will also be consulting on their new strategy from January 2021. , but ahead of that they want to hear as many views as possible to help shape it. CQC has started some work on this through a series of webinars and activity on their digital participation platform, and there will be more opportunities over the coming months. Sign up to CQC bulletins.

Routine inspections suspended - CQC

CQC confirmed on 16 March 2020 that they would be suspending routine inspections in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Measures include:

  • stopping routine inspections from 16 March
  • a shift towards other, remote methods to give assurance of safety and quality of care
  • some inspection activity in a small number of cases, for example where there are allegations of abuse
  • giving extra support to registered managers in adult social care


CQC also confirmed on 17 March that:

“There are no changes to the requirements to make notifications or the system used to make them. You should notify us of deaths and of events that stop you carrying on your service ‘safely and properly’ (regulation 18). This will mean letting us know if your service operation is being negatively affected by COVID-19. It does not mean that you need to notify us of every single COVID-19 related issue.”


Coronavirus Act 2020: status table – 7 May 2020 – GOV.UK

This table sets out the status of provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020. It shows which provisions in Part 1 of the Act have since came into force. It also shows, as per Part 2 of the Act, which provisions that were in force have since been suspended and reviewed.When a local authority decides to use the easements, CQC will speak to them to understand the reasons for the decision. They will ask them what impact they expect the decision to have on adult social care services in the area. CQC will use this information to help prioritise monitoring of providers.

Care Act 2014 Easements and local authorities – 30 April 2020 – CQC

When a local authority decides to use the easements, CQC will speak to them to understand the reasons for the decision. They will ask them what impact they expect the decision to have on adult social care services in the area. CQC will use this information to help prioritise monitoring of providers.

CQC has also published the list of local authorities using the easements.

Care Act 2014 Easements – 31 March 2020 – GOV.UK

The guidance sets out how local authorities can use the new Care Act provisions, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to prioritise care and support for those who need it most. The provisions are temporary and should only be used when it is not possible for local authorities to comply with their duties under the Care Act 2014. This guidance must be read alongside the ethical framework for adult social care.

Supporting disabled people – 31 March 2020 – GOV.UK

A joint statement from the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, the Minister for Care, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families. The statement outlines how the government plans to support disabled people, their carers, and their families during the coronavirus outbreak, including the implications of the Coronavirus Act and Care Act easements.

Coronavirus Act – 25 March 2020 –

Read the full details of the Act.

Coronavirus Bill: summary of impacts – updated 23 March 2020 – GOV.UK

A summary of impacts relating to clauses within the Bill.

Implications of the Coronavirus Act, and Care Act easements –  April 2020 – Shared Lives Plus (PDF)

An analysis of the implications of temporary legislative changes for care providers, especially Shared Lives carers and the people they support.

Coronavirus Act 2020: Social care and SEND guidance note – 1 April 2020 – 39 Essex Chambers

Guidance from the 39 Essex Chambers public law team to queries about the Coronavirus Act and implications for social care and SEND services. It is not a comprehensive review – legal advice will need to be sought in respect of specific situations that arise.

Emergency Coronavirus Bill letter from Jonathan Marron – 18 March – DHSC (PDF)

Letter outlining significant changes to Local Authority duties under the Care Act 2014, aimed at enabling LAs and providers to prioritise resources on the most pressing and acute care needs for the most critical period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

See all related information on coronavirus.