Directors in charge of care homes and hospitals will be held personally accountable for any abuse or neglect under new measures being unveiled today.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb will say that the changes are designed to prevent a repeat of cases like Winterbourne View, where an undercover reporter revealed shocking abuse at a Bristol care home.
The new standards will require directors to take a "fit and proper" test to ensure they fit the role, and make it easier for the health watchdog to prosecute them where there are clear failures to meet basic standards of care.
The Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb has said that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will implement a "tough series of checks" on the largest care companies - including those that provide care in people's own homes.
The move will give "early warnings" if a company is in trouble, he said.
The CQC will have power to require regular financial and relevant performance information from the 50 to 60 largest companies, and providers will also be forced to submit "sustainability plans".
And if a company is in trouble the CQC will have power to commission an independent business review to help the provider to return to financial stability.
Nearly three-quarters of people are concerned about the care their elderly relatives receive, with many thinking it is substandard, new research has shown.
A study of reviews left on feedback website the Good Care Guide showed that many people viewed elderly care as needing improvement, with nearly three quarters (71%) of negative reviews on the site directed towards care provided by homecare agencies and care homes.
The Good Care Guide, launched a year ago, works like TripAdvisor, allowing people the chance to find, rate and review care providers.
An analysis of more than 2,000 reviews - which grouped those with 0-3 stars as negative, and those with 4-5 as positive - revealed concerns for the care elderly people receive, with 71% of negative reviews directed towards homecare agencies and care homes.
The collapse of Southern Cross caused huge concern for residents and their families and the Government is right to say action should be taken to try and prevent a similar crisis from happening again. Labour will consider the Government's proposals in detail to see if they are robust, workable and fit for the future.
In particular, we are concerned about whether the proposed requirements on care home providers to provide financial information are sufficiently strong, whether the Care Quality Commission or Monitor have the skills, experience or resources to properly scrutinise the financial structures of companies, or the power to take effective action to prevent financial failure if risks emerge.
However, the underlying challenge facing the Government is to tackle the crisis in social care funding. There have been financial pressures for many years, but the Government's cuts are now driving care services to breaking point.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said he had been looking at regulation of the care sector in light of the abuse of vulnerable patients uncovered at private hospital Winterbourne View near Bristol and believed it was not yet "fit for purpose".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
I think there is a significant lack of corporate accountability for the quality of care that is provided in care homes and in private hospitals and that is something I am determined to address.
I have been looking at that in terms of the Government's response to the horrors of Winterbourne View and I just have a sense that the whole regulatory model for the care sector is not actually yet fit for purpose and there are reforms that are necessary.