Appendices to provider handbook: consultation: specialist substance misuse services

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Care Quality Commission
Care Quality Commission
Date of publication
1 January 2015
Substance Misuse
Social welfare
Material type

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This handbook describes the Commission's approach to regulating, inspecting and rating providers of specialist substance misuse services. These services are for people who misuse alcohol and drugs and offer treatment in inpatient, community and residential settings. It explains the key principles of CQC’s approach to regulating health and care providers and how it applies to independent specialist substance misuse providers. It focuses primarily on independent providers of substance misuse services and the Commission will use this as a basis for its approach to specialist substance misuse services provided in other contexts, such as NHS mental health and acute trusts and GP practices.

This document builds on CQC's publication, A fresh start for the regulation and inspection of substance misuse services, which set out proposals to change how it regulates, inspects and monitors these providers. These included making greater use of people’s views and experiences of care, and a consistent focus on people who are in vulnerable circumstances, or from specific population groups. They also included using clinical and other experts, such as inspectors with further training about substance misuse services and people with experience of receiving care (Experts by Experience), as part of inspection teams.

As with other health and social care providers,  inspectors will use objective measures and evidence supported by professional judgement, to assess specialist substance misuse services against five key questions:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

Inspectors will rate services to help people compare services and highlight where care is outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

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