The CQC is currently overhauling its inspection and reporting processes through the Single Assessment Framework (SAF), initiating questions about evidence requirements for providers and the continuity of certain elements in the existing system.
Although there have been some delays since its initial roll out in November, a projected timeline indicates that social care providers in the South of the country will be the first to go live, with the rest of the country following suit in the coming weeks.
Despite the SAF being marketed as a comprehensive change in the inspection process, the responsibility for change primarily lies with the CQC and not the providers. The CQC is spearheading alterations in inspection methodologies, questioning approaches, rating criteria, and reporting mechanisms. Nevertheless, for service providers, it remains mostly business as usual.
However, a recent survey conducted by WorkNest and Care 4 Quality reveals that 41 percent of health and social care businesses feel unprepared for the new single assessment framework. Despite plans to implement the new system across all providers by spring 2024, only 6 percent of those surveyed feel they have the necessary training and processes in place.
Participants in the survey expressed the least confidence in the following aspects of the new single assessment:
· Introduction of evidence categories (24 percent)
· Online portal development (22 percent)
· The implementation of a scoring system for ratings (21 percent)
· The transition from Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) to quality statements (19 percent)
· The shift to a monitoring/continuous assessment model (14 percent)
These findings highlight the challenges and uncertainties within the health and social care sector as it navigates the changes introduced by the CQC’s single assessment framework.