Since April 2013, some elements of the regulation system have changed. Responsibility for regulating particular aspects of care is now shared across a number of different bodies, such as:
For more information about individual regulators, see our Health watchdogs and authorities section.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The CQC continues to regulate all health and adult social care services in England, including those provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations.
Read more about the CQC.
Monitor expanded its role to regulate all providers of health and adult social care services. Monitor aims to promote competition, regulate prices and ensure the continuity of services for NHS foundation trusts.
Under the new system, most NHS providers will need to be registered with both the CQC and Monitor to be able to legally provide services.
Note: all service providers are required to hold a licence issued jointly by the CQC and Monitor. To get a licence, providers will need to meet essential standards of quality and safety. They’ll also have to follow certain behaviours relating to price setting, integrated care and competition. More importantly, providers will have to ensure services don't stop in the event of financial difficulties. If a provider does not fulfil the terms and conditions of the licence, both Monitor and CQC can take independent action, such as issuing warning notices or financial penalties.
Find out more about Monitor.
Healthwatch is a new organisation and functions as an independent consumer champion, gathering and representing the views of the public about health and social care services in England.
It operates both at a national and local level and ensures the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account.
Locally, Healthwatch will give patients and communities a voice in decisions that affect them, reporting their views, experiences and concerns to Healthwatch England. Healthwatch England will work as part of the CQC.
Read more about Healthwatch England.
Other changes to the regulation system
Following the abolition of strategic health authorities (SHAs), the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) is now responsible for overseeing the performance, management and governance of NHS Trusts, including clinical quality, and also managing their progress towards foundation trust status. The TDA has a range of powers, from appointing chairs and non-executive directors, to requiring a trust to seek external advice.
For more information visit the TDA website.