The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has created a “regulatory sandbox” and is inviting innovators and services using digital clinical triage to join.

It is hoped the sandbox will be a space where providers can work with CQC, the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England, to look at how new ways of working fit with regulation.

Providers who take part will be given the opportunity to learn from other providers who are exploring new ways of meeting people’s needs.

They will also help inform how CQC works with their sector and looks at new technologies in the future.

Dr Malte Gerhold, CQC’s director of strategy and intelligence, said: “Innovative technology is changing almost every part of our lives, including how we access and receive care. This means the way that we regulate health and social care services has to evolve too.

“Sandboxing will help us to encourage new ways of working by collaborating with innovators to understand what good quality care looks like when introducing new approaches. It also allows us to explore and communicate any expectations we have as the regulator.

“Working together we can examine new ways of working, mitigate risk, and achieve our common goal – better outcomes for people using services.”

In October 2018, the CQC was awarded £500,000 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund. Part of this funding has gone towards the sandbox project.

In a blog post, the CQC has said its ambition is to “encourage improvement, while making sure that safety is at the heart of care” but this does not mean “regulation needs to be a barrier to innovation”.

More information and how to apply can be found here.

The regulator announced in January 2019 that it has appointed its first executive level chief digital officer.

Mark Sutton joined the CQC in April 2019 as part of its programme of digital transformation.