NICE and the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
CQC essential standards and NICE Quality Standards.
The Care Quality Commission regulatory framework applies to services provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies or voluntary organisations. The CQC register and license providers of care services if they meet essential standards of quality and safety, and monitor them to ensure they continue to meet these standards. The CQC's essential standards set out 28 outcomes that people receiving care can expect to experience.
Two of these outcomes reference specific NICE clinical guidelines:
- Outcome 5: Meeting nutritional needs - CG32 Nutrition support in adults
- Outcome 7: Safeguarding people who use services from abuse - CG25 Violence: The short-term management of disturbed/violent behaviour in in-patient psychiatric settings and emergency departments, and CG89 When to suspect child maltreatment
In addition a further six outcomes reference NICE guidance in general as being relevant:
- Outcome 4: Care and welfare of people who use services
- Outcome 9: Management of medicines
- Outcome 10: Safety and suitability of premises
- Outcome 11: Safety, availability and suitability of equipment
- Outcome 13: Staffing
- Outcome 16: Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision
Where regulatory activity is deemed necessary and CQC inspectors visit services, they would expect to be able to see how services are using guidance, including that from NICE.
The CQC also conduct reviews and studies that look at themes in health and social care. When these studies cover topics where NICE has published guidance, this will form an important focus of the study.
Organisations need to consider whether they could demonstrate they have systems for identifying, responding to and monitoring the implementation and use of NICE guidance.
The statements and measures in a NICE Quality Standard together indicate a high quality clinical service. The delivery of high quality care is signalled by good performance across the breadth of all statements and measures. If an organisation is performing poorly on many or all of the Quality Standard measures, it may mean that an organisation is at risk of not meeting the CQC's essential standards and therefore of not complying with regulatory requirements. CQC may make use of data on NICE Quality Standard measures in their risk estimation.
This page was last updated: 28 October 2011