Influencing the next phase of hospice regulation in England

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is consulting on proposals for its Next Phase of regulation of health and social care services in England.


The first consultation included proposals for regulating complex services, and changes to the assessment framework that would see one framework for healthcare and one for adult social care.

In our submission to this consultation, we supported the proposal to move hospice services into the healthcare framework. We recommended that healthcare inspectors are properly trained and supported to regulate hospice care, which is very different in nature to other parts of the healthcare system that they will be more familiar with inspecting, such as hospitals.

We also suggested that CQC should explore the possibility of taking a more integrated approach to regulating end of life care services, which span the health and social care divide.

The CQC response to the consultation confirms the proposals that it had made, although the implementation of the new framework for hospice services will now take place in 2018/19. 

The key changes

Changes to assessment frameworks
CQC has simplified their assessment frameworks to help complex providers and those with more than one type of service. The 11 separate frameworks for healthcare services have been merged into one, and the two frameworks for adult social care have also been merged into one.

CQC has also aligned the wording of their Key Lines of Enquiry and prompts between the two assessment frameworks. They include new content to strengthen specific areas and reflect current practice.

Updated guidance for providers online
CQC has restructured the Guidance for Providers section of their website in response to feedback.

Proposed changes
The second consultation, which closed in August, sought views on:

  • The structure of registration, and clarifying how CQC define providers;
  • How CQC monitors, inspects and rates new models of care and large or complex providers;
  • How CQC uses their unique knowledge to encourage improvements in the quality of care in local areas;
  • How CQC carries out their role in relation to the fit and proper persons requirement.

Hospice co-production group

We remain in close contact with CQC about the changes, and have worked with them to establish a new hospice co-production group to advise on the development of the new regulatory approach.

Further information

Contact the team for further information on the new regulatory model.

What does hospice care mean to you?