As the Health and Social Care Industry faces changes to the way they are inspected by the Care Quality Commission under the new Transitional Inspection framework, it is time for all providers to consider how to build evidence and prepare for the forthcoming assessments, some of which CQC will conduct via MS Teams or by phone.
Unfortunately, these inspections are unlikely to influence grades but will be used to inform the risk matrix used by CQC to influence further actions, such as face to face inspections and where required enforcement action.
The inspectors will rely on information from various sources to make their analysis of risk these will include:
- Local Authorities
- Feedback from those using the service, either service users and or the representatives.
- How the provider uses information they gather from service users and their representatives to improve the service.
- Feedback from Staff and visiting professionals such as district nurses.
This means providers need a reliable source of feedback, which they can demonstrate they are acting upon. One of the best ways to do this is via engagement surveys which are carried out independently. This provides accurate information as people are free to say what they really think. Once you have the raw data, presented in an easy to read format, it is ideal to demonstrate the results, and the action taken to address issues provides confidence to the participants, potential clients and the inspectors.
Another aspect of the Transitional Framework which we have seen posing problems for the provider is the “desktop study” or subject access request. CQC request to be shown a number of documents to evidence aspects of the service discussed during the virtual meeting. This may be done by way of screen sharing or by a request being made formally for the information to be provided within 24 hours.
We have seen an increase in the number of requests for company polices and the relevant evidence to demonstrate that there is good governance around the policy. They also seek evidence that the policy is being used by staff and that it is up to date, using best practice.
Once the information is gathered at the meeting, it is balanced against the information provided by external sources. It is then considered if a Management review meeting is required. An adult social care provider can expect a summary record if there is additional action being considered.
We have seen providers in difficulty as they do not always have the best possible information from a service, especially now that visits are very restricted. This has translated into the information provided being less than accurate and when balanced with the information from external sources there has been a deficit, which has led to significant further investigation and on occasion enforcement action being taken.
In essence all providers need to be prepared for a Transition Framework inspection, whether in person of virtually. The team at Swift Management Services are able to assist in this process by conducting engagement surveys, with results presented in a easy to read format, assist managers to consider improvements identified within the surveys and writing the subsequent action plan.
We are also able to assist with the review of policies and procedures, to ensure you are ready for any data access request, including helping you prepare the evidence well in advance. We have received many requests for assistance when the request has been already made by CQC, but a 24 hour timeframe limits the effectiveness of review, therefore a proactive review process in advance is vital. Our website has details of all the services we can offer. To prepare now for the Transitional Framework review, you may find two of our services particularly useful.