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How the CQC is helping people find good care

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We work closely with our Arms Length Bodies (ALBs) and are encouraging them to share their examples of using digital tools and techniques. In this post, Ingrid from CQC tells us how they are improving their offer through the use of widgets.

Ingrid Karikari is Senior Product Manager at the Care Quality Commission and is currently focused on developing CQC’s digital strategic partnerships.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all the health and adult social care in England. We work to drive improvement in the quality and safety of care services. One of our aims is to provide useful information for the public online. So, to help us reach as many people as we can, we have developed the CQC widget. It’s being used on a thousand health and care websites and is helping people find good care.

Providing information for the public

At CQC we strongly believe that the public have a right to know about the quality of their health and social care services so that they can make an informed choice about care.

Every year we inspect thousands of health and care services and we publish our findings and judgements on our website.

But this isn’t enough. We know that it’s complicated and confusing looking for the right care service and we know that the public use a variety of sources to help them make these big decisions.

We want to make it easy for people to find our valuable information online. So, we are focusing on getting our information out to where the public can find it and use it, without having to come to the CQC website, which forms part of implementing our digital syndication strategy.

The CQC widget

The widget is a key part of CQC’s syndication strategy. It allows anyone to take live CQC content about the quality of any of the 40,000 services we regulate and embed it on any website. The widget shows whether a service is meeting our national standards and also features a link back to the full service profile on the CQC website.

The widget is very much inspired by the success of other widgets on the web. YouTube, Twitter and the Met Office (to name a few) successfully use widgets to share their content and services across a huge number of sites.

While anyone is free to use the CQC widget, we designed it with two key audiences in mind:

  • regulated providers who want to add something to their website to assure people they are regulated and inspected by CQC
  • health and care directory sites that want to include the relevant widget on each page of their directory

From pilot to launch

We started piloting the widget in summer 2012 with a handful of providers. Following testing and useful feedback we tweaked the widget design and extended the pilot to about 30 providers. Again the response was positive, so we felt confident about launching the widget at the beginning of October.

Our ultimate aim is to have the widget feature on the websites of all the 40,000 services we regulate. This is a huge task, especially given the fact that providers can choose to use the widget, or not.

We very much hope that providers and directory sites will see the benefits of displaying the widget on their sites and we are very encouraged by the initial response.

The power of the widget

Since launch the CQC widget has been featured on over 1000 websites. This includes directory sites like Find Me Good Care and the Good Care Guide as well as a number of provider websites. And as a result, so far, CQC information has been viewed by over 38,000 people, over and above those who visit our website.

The widget shifts CQC into becoming a supplier of syndicated information for the health and social care market. It means we are now supplying vital components for services (such as directory sites) that other people build and deliver.

In doing this we are supporting the market in health and care information and opening the door for the public to access more useful information about services. This is a new and exciting departure for us that will continue to grow and develop.

We are currently working across a number of different partners and channels to get the word out about the widget and other digital products we have waiting in the wings. If you want to know more, please email us at or follow us on twitter @CQCwidget.

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