Care Quality Commission

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to use the word "gender" in place of the word "sex" in its communications; and what assessment they have made of the impact of that decision on the suitability of the CQC to undertake an impartial review of the Gender Identity Services for children and young people at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Care Quality Commission about the compliance with the Equality Act 2010 of its decision to use the word “gender” instead of “sex” in its Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy and its Principles of Workforce Equality Monitoring document.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the decision of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to use the word “gender” in place of the word “sex” in its communications, what assessment they have made of the suitability of the CQC to assess whether the bodies it inspects are applying single-sex exemptions in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have used the word ‘gender’ instead of ‘sex’ in their Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy and Principles of Workforce Equality Monitoring since these documents were introduced in 2011. These documents were reviewed by the CQC’s Staff Equality Networks and approved by the CQC’s Joint Negotiating and Consultation Committee, including trade union representatives and senior CQC managers, alongside external, national union officers, and were signed-off by the CQC Board at that time.

The CQC complete Equality Impact Assessments for new Human Resources policies, but this use of wording did not arise as an issue of concern at the time, has not been subject to a specific assessment and was not the subject of legal advice at the time. Government Legal Services have now reviewed our use of the word gender in these documents and confirmed that this meets the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

The CQC are committed to equality and human rights throughout their work, and this approach underpins the way in which they register and inspect services. The decision has no impact on the CQC’s ability to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.

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