Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

09th November 2016

Is there a specific remit for CQC expert witnesses?

Is there a specific remit for CQC's expert witness during care home inspections? I've heard of cases where a lead inspector has allowed such witnessses to 'interrogate' staff. Should their remit be disclosed to managers in advance so that they do not overstep agreed boundaries? Thank you.



Dear Frank,


There is some useful information on the Care Quality Commission's website about Experts by Experience.


This is a paragraph that I have taken from CQC's website about the role of Experts by Experience:


"The primary role of an Expert by Experience on inspections is to speak to people using services and their family/advocates. They may either do this face-to-face or on the telephone depending on the service to be inspected. They may also observe how the service is delivered and speak to staff. Experts by Experience inspection findings are used to support the inspectors’ judgments on services and can also be included in inspection reports."


You can find further information if you go to CQC's website and put Experts by Experience into the search engine.


In your question you use the word 'interrogate'. CQC's words throughout are speak to.


There should be no question of interrogation by Experts for Experience particularly of staff.


If this happens I think the provider should raise their concern at the time of the inspection. If you are a member of a trade association, you could also take your concerns to them for advice.


If you have had a difficult experience, you could always write to me privately for further advice.


Best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

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