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CQC domains of quality

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of quality standards for health and social care in England. The CQC recognises and assesses services and organisations across five domains of quality. Specifically they assess whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led (1). Understanding and acceptance of these five domains of quality is now well established. These headings have been adapted one axis of the matrix. The other axis is made up of the seven pillars (2).

Using Pearson’s matrix structure ensures balance across clinical governance with clear assurance as a new service is developed and implemented (2). The matrix offers a consistent approach and message but also allows for comparison across pathways and trusts. The matrix will act a dashboard to feedback to the central team on current governance status. Creating and engaging with a robust clinical governance structure within the Active Hospital Pilot provides the safety net for clinical staff to push the boundaries of service development.

The Active Hospital Pilot nominated a governance lead who was responsible for ensuring the governance framework was implemented (2). This position would normally be the lead consultant for a service.


  1. CQC. Five key question we ask 2009 [Available from:
  2. Pearson B. The clinical governance of multidisciplinary care. International Journal of Health Governance. 2017;22(4):246-50.