The Coronavirus crisis has seen changes in the way CQC inspect, with many care homes rated “Inadequate” or “Requires Improvement” being unable to get their ratings changed despite significant improvements to the service being made. This has left many of our clients deflated as they continue to work under difficult circumstances and without recognition for the improvements they have made.
CQC have announced a new transitional regulatory approach to inspection which will be effective from 6th October 2020. In a joint statement from CQC’s Chief Inspectors and Deputy Chief Inspector and lead for mental health services they explain how the new approach will work.
The key components to the new approach are:
- A strengthened approach to monitoring, with clear areas of focus based on existing Key Line of Enquiry to enable us to continually monitor risk in a service.
- Use of technology and our local relationships to have better direct contact with people who are using services, their families, and staff in the service.
- Inspection activity that is more targeted and focused on where we have concerns, without returning to a routine programme of planned inspections.
The statement is clear that in many cases ratings will not change but they may add statements to their website relating to the service status.
The report states that CQC have stated “We’ll use a range of information sources to support our monitoring. This will include the work we’re doing as part of our Provider Collaboration Reviews (PCRs) and information gathered through our routine ongoing monitoring. As well as information on individual services.”
The new framework we believe, is a positive first step which will help providers move forward. Clearly the new approach will incorporate desk top studies to measure risk. Therefore, the information a provider can present to CQC could now be more important than ever.
The flow of information from provider to inspector is vital. This could include, service user/representative and staff surveys, mock inspection reports, detailed service improvement plans. We would suggest the more open and honest information you can provide to CQC the better.
The Mock Inspection has for a very long time been accepted as a way to assist care home providers improve their regulator ratings. Now more than ever the mock inspection has more value as it can form part of the information a provider sends to an inspector. The same applies to engagement surveys with residents and staff. Independent and transparent information will, we believe be key to demonstrating improvements and allowing inspectors to assess risk.
We have seen an increase in “desk top studies” undertaken by CQC to assess risk. This has been achieved by making data requests with very short timescales for compliance, therefore it is vital that information held by providers is up to date, polices and procedure reflect what you actually do, and there is evidence of good governance both within the service and the company at large.
The team at Swift Management Services are able to assist providers to prepare for this new approach. Our services including Mock inspection, Engagement Surveys, and Service Improvement plans which all assist a provider to demonstrate transparency, compliance, and that where there are issues, they are being addressed. Much of the work we do can be done remotely and where a provider wishes for a visit to take place our staff will have a recent negative test and appropriate PPE.
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To read the full joint statement form CQC visit: