Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission

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Andrea signs the Time to Change pledge on behalf of the Care Quality Commission

Challenging stigma

Mental ill health touches the lives of so many people, but because there is still such a stigma, it remains hidden, unspoken, a “shameful” s‎ecret exacerbating feelings of isolation, despair and abandonment. Help is not asked for and people are reluctant to explain how they are feeling. In turn, friends, family and work colleagues feel awkward about asking, don’t know how to respond, worry about saying the wrong thing.

Time to talk

Taking time to talk can change that. I am not saying ‎it is easy and that every attempt at a conversation will be a success — but we have to start somewhere and the testimony of many who have experienced mental ill health shows how much people do appreciate the care and consideration a simple conversation can bring.


Of course, signing a pledge is one thing — it has to be backed by action to be meaningful and like every other organisation, CQC has an agreed plan to make our positive intentions a reality. There are two specific initiatives I would like to highlight.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

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