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Regulation refers to the different organisational bodies or strategies in place to regulate health care in England. Regulation of the health service has been relatively slow to develop on an institutional basis, and much change and innovation occurred during the 2000s. In contrast the origins of professional regulation in England can be found in the fifteenth century when petitions were made to King Henry V asking that only those with appropriate qualifications should be allowed to practise medicine.

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Regulators that assess organisations, rather than those that assess professionals, have had a somewhat rocky and unstable history. During the 2000s, regulators were particularly vulnerable to change and abolition. Regulatory bodies as we know them today, such as Monitor or the Care Quality Commission (CQC), have undergone a number of modifications and changes in function. The timeline for regulation as per the commissioning timeline highlights this instability and organisational change.

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