Published: 09 Mar 2021
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Care Quality Commission (CQC) have joined together to further safeguard the rights of people who use or work in health and social care services in England.
A Memorandum of Understanding outlines how both regulators will improve co-operation and the exchange of information between them on equality and human rights issues. For example, the EHRC will share any intelligence with the CQC where it may have concerns about the equality and human rights standards of health and social care providers that the CQC is responsible for regulating.
Both regulators have also agreed to take a joint approach when necessary, to make sure health and social care providers uphold their responsibilities under equality and human rights law. For example, in cases involving discrimination in access to care services or harassment in the workplace.
The EHRC will also provide training for CQC inspectors and Mental Health Act reviewers on how to spot equality and human rights breaches as well as identify instances of good practice.
Alastair Pringle, Executive Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
“The pandemic has highlighted a number of concerns both organisations share about the need to protection the rights of people in health and social care. CQC is a vital partner in ensuring that we can continue to have our eyes and ears open to the experiences of those either using or working in the care sector.
“This agreement will further strengthen our relationship with CQC, and by joining forces we can better protect people’s human rights and prevent unequal treatment in Health and Social Care.”
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, said:
“This agreement will ensure CQC and EHRC continue to work well together as we have been doing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The MoU sets out how we will share knowledge and expertise in a number of important areas including protecting people most at risk of having their human rights breached and addressing issues of equality in health and social care.”