The Health and Social Act 2008 became law last week, establishing the long-awaited Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC brings together the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Commission. The CQC will be responsible for inspections and investigations in the care system and intervene where care providers are failing to meet safety and quality requirements. The CQC will act as an independent adjudicator to make decisions about whether health professionals, including GPs, should remain in practice. Cynthia Bower, currently chief executive of West Midlands SHA, will head the CQC.

The Act aims to help deliver a consistent approach to health and social care while striving to improving public confidence in the care and medical system. Ben Bradshaw Health Minister says: “The Act will help to protect the health, safety and welfare of those who use health and social services.”