The health watchdog is launching a review into how it handled a 2015 report raising concerns about Whorlton Hall hospital.
Former Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector Barry Stanley-Wilkinson said he wrote the report four years before BBC Panorama revealed the alleged abuse of patients.
The CQC said there would also be a review of its regulation of the County Durham hospital between 2015 and 2019.
Ten workers have been arrested.
BBC Panorama’s undercover filming appeared to show patients with learning difficulties being mocked, intimidated and restrained.
The site had at least 100 visits by official agencies in the year before the abuse was discovered.
The CQC said it has commissioned David Noble QSO to undertake an independent review into how it dealt with issues raised by Mr Stanley-Wilkinson.
It has previously said his draft report raised no concerns about abusive practices.
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