Dr Rosie Benneyworth’s blog

Monthly column for providers and professionals working in primary medical and dental services from Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care

This month I’m talking about our approach to registration, why it’s an important part of regulation, how providers register and the support and guidance that’s available to you I’ll also talk about our current policy position on cannabis-based products for medicinal use.


Our core purpose is to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. Registering the individuals, partnerships and organisations that provide regulated activity in England is an important part of delivering this purpose.

The registration process is fundamentally about ensuring that services are able to deliver regulated activity within the requirements of relevant regulations and are set up in a way to deliver safe care. During the registration process we collect information from applicants, about them, the regulated activities they are proposing to deliver and the places where care will be provided, using this information to assess the fitness of an applicant. Depending on the type of application providers may also be required to have a registered manager and the registration process will also assess their fitness.

A successful and timely application can be achieved when applicants:

· Are clear about the care and regulated activity they will be providing

· Have all the information CQC requires ready and available

· Clearly understand the requirements of the legislation and how they plan to meet them

· Are able to explain and show how they will follow the regulations

I want the experience of registering with CQC to be as smooth as possible and have developed guidance for applicants around different parts of the process and for different types of providers. You can find these all on our website, with specific pages for GPs, Dentists, Urgent Care, Independent Doctors and Online Primary Care.

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use

In November 2018, the law changed to allow cannabis-based medicinal products to become Schedule 2 controlled drugs, making them available on prescription. Most cannabis-based medicinal products are unlicensed medicines in the UK, apart from some products with a marketing authorisation, which are licensed for certain health conditions.

Although there is currently only a very small number of prescriptions for cannabis-based medicinal products, we are aware of some prescribing in the NHS, and of clinics being set up in the independent sector. Draft guidance from NICE and a review by NHS England have highlighted a need for more research on cannabis-based medicinal products.. In the interim, our policy position sets out what CQC requires of any registered providers and prospective registrants.

    Care Quality Commission

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    We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

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