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The Care Quality Commission checks whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards. Visit our website at


Care homes


Care in your home


About us

Mental Health Act

We protect the interests of vulnerable people, including those whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

Your rights under the Mental Health Act

What we do

We are the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.

Our job is to make sure that care provided by hospitals, dentists, ambulances, care homes and services in people’s own homes and elsewhere meets government standards of quality and safety.

How we are funded

We are funded by the Government.

The Care Quality Commission began operating on 1 April 2009 as the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. We replaced three earlier commissions: the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission.

What are the government standards?

The government standards cover all aspects of care, including:

  • treating people with dignity and respect.
  • making sure food and drink meets people’s needs.
  • making sure that that the environment is clean and safe.
  • managing and staffing services.

We register care services that meet the standards, inspect them to check that they continue to do so, and take action when they don’t. Find out more:

How we do our job

We inspect and continually monitor information we hold about a service.

We use information from...

Our inspectors visit health and adult social care services across England to check that they are meeting the standards.

They make unannounced inspections of services on a regular basis and at any time in response to concerns.

During our inspections we:

  • ask people about their experiences of receiving care.
  • talk to care staff.
  • check that the right systems and processes are in place.
  • look for evidence that care isn’t meeting government standards.

Find out more about what our inspectors do:

Real inspection cases

We rely on the public to tell us about their concerns about poor care. If you have concerns about a service, find out how to Share your experience with us.

Local groups and the public also tell us what’s important to them. Read more:

Image of a whistle

If you work at (or used to work at) a care service and think that there is a risk of harm to people or possible criminal activity, you can contact us about your concerns (also called whistleblowing).

For full details about how we will deal with your concerns and what protection you will receive, read our guidance.

Health and social care services are legally obliged to inform us about certain incidents or events and we may also ask for more information when we carry out checks.

We use this information to help us tell where the government standards are not being met.

We work in partnership and share information with other organisations.

We work with Monitor (the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts), Ofsted, HMI Prisons and Probation, Equality and Human Rights Commission and many other local and national organisations. Find out more:

Partnerships with other organisations

For example, we have measures in place to alert us when there are unusual trends in deaths at a care service. We record all of these alerts and investigate them. Find out more:

Mortality trends

How we enforce standards

We always insist on improvements and check they have been made.

When standards aren’t being met, we can use our powers to:

  • issue fines or warnings.
  • stop admissions into a care service.
  • suspend or cancel a care service’s registration.

Find out more about how we Enforce standards.