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Social Care: CQC Inspection Checklist [Infographic Inside]

blog , Healthcare , CQC inspection checklist , social care , care home manager , CQC interview questions , employer

Are you adult social care services that are providing regulated activities under the Health and Social Care Act 2008? Then, you must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Who is the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and what do they do?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates against the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 and the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009. These regulations describe the essential standards of quality and safety for people who use health and social care services and these people have a right to expect these standards. 

Who uses care home services?

A care home provides residential care for many people. These include older people, disabled people, people with a learning disability, people with long- or short-term health conditions or people with drug or alcohol problems. A care home may also provide services such as nursing care.

What does a CQC inspection involve? 

According to Care Quality Commission (CQC), "Our job is to monitor and inspect health and adult social care services such as your local care homes, GP practices, and hospitals. We inspect these services to make sure they give you high-quality care and we give them a rating of ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. If a service needs to improve, we will take action to make sure this happens. When we inspect each service, we always find out whether or not it is: safe, responsive to people’s needs, effective, well-led and caring."

An unexpected inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) can be a daunting experience for a care home. To ensure that the visit goes as smoothly and well as possible, you need to set aside time to prepare for what will actually happen when the day arrives. If you follow our handy checklist of 5 top tips to preparing for a CQC inspection, you’ll be ready on the day of the CQC inspection.


CQC Inspection Checklist

1 – Prepare your staff:

A huge part of meeting the inspector’s requirements and impressing them will be to prepare your staff. The best way to do this is to explain what the CQC inspection is. 

According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), "The focus of our inspections is the experiences people have when they receive care and the impact the care has on their health and wellbeing. We make our judgements against the regulations, and the judgements we make are informed by these experiences. This is why inspectors spend a lot of their time on an inspection directly observing care and talking to people who receive care, their family and carers. They will check their findings in a number of ways, perhaps by looking at records, or speaking with staff, to reach their judgements."

It is your job to explain to your staff why the inspection is so important for your care home. Make an effort to teach your staff how to communicate with each other and with the residents. The staff needs to be empathetic and respectful to the care home residents. Since learning communication skills takes a long time, start preparing after the day of your last inspection. 

Your staff does not need to learn all the complex regulations but they should have some understanding of some key regulations such as safeguarding and whistleblowing. This will come in handy when they will be asked questions about regulations and they can then confidently give a simple explanation.

It is a good idea to help your staff prepare for CQC interview questions. This will help them to feel more confident and less likely to feel under pressure and on the spot. Here are some of the CQC interview questions that might be asked: 

  • How long have you been working here?
  • What it is that you do here?
  • How did you apply for your job?
  • Do you have an updated job description / clear role responsibility, contract and staff handbook?
  • Name one good thing you like about your work?
  • Do you have any concerns?
  • Do you feel supported?
  • How are you treated by management and partnership?
  • Did you have an interview when you applied for this job?
  • Were references taken when you were appointed?
  • Did you have a CRB / DBS check for the current position?
  • Have you received training? What courses/training have you been on?
  • Do you have staff appraisals? When was your last staff appraisal?
  • How did you follow up on the objectives and action plan set out in your appraisal?
  • Are you included in adding to the agenda and receiving meeting minutes?
  • Where are the anaphylactic kits and are they checked regularly?
  • Do you know about vulnerable adults and children?
  • Who is the safeguarding lead here?
  • What are the ‘out of hours’ arrangements?
  • Are you aware of a whistleblowing policy?
  • Do you feel free to blow the whistle if and when necessary?
  • Do you know about the complaints procedure and can you describe it?
  • How do you react when you read NHS choices if there is a complaint?
  • Was there any significant event that you know about?
  • Confidentiality and privacy – how do they work when dealing with patients/service users/clients?
  • How do you treat people with dignity and respect?
  • Describe the chaperone policy and procedure for chaperones?
  • Are you a chaperone? If yes, describe your role and responsibilities?
  • How are areas kept clean and tidy and do you have any concern about the cleanliness of any areas?
  • Do you have an incident and accident book and where is it kept?

2 – Personalise your care plans

Your patients are the biggest assets of your organisation. The CQC inspector will want to speak with them to get their views on the organisation and how it is run. You want the patients to give their honest opinion so instead of preparing them in regards to the answers they are going to give, make sure your care plans reflect the actual needs of your patients. Make an effort to create personalised care plans. For example, if one of your residents suffers from high blood pressure, make sure you have a short term care plan in place for immediate care. 

Patient feedback is essential in a social care setting. You should aim to provide the best care possible so you need to know what is working for your patients and what can be improved. It is important that you conduct feedback surveys to address the issues even before the inspection happens. CQC would see that you have thought about your patients' needs and made improvements in your care plans after the survey, based on your residents' feedback.

3 – Plan the day in advance

Make a timetable for the day of the inspection so you and your staff know exactly what to do and when. You could also prepare a welcome pack that outlines the key members of staff that the inspector(s) may wish to speak to. This could include the staff member’s name, their job title and a picture of them. Ensure that you have checked if you are breaching any CQC regulations. If yes, create a correction plan quickly and improve your shortcomings.

4 – Gather all the correct and relevant information

There could be a vast amount of paperwork and documentation that the CQC inspector could ask for. This could include; policies, HR records, patient information, and health and safety documents. Remember to include minutes of meetings where these topics may have been discussed. 

Here are a couple of things that CQC wants you to consider: 

  • Making staff aware of the methods CQC use to gather evidence. 
  • Making it clear that CQC doesn’t expect all staff to have the same level of knowledge and understanding. 
  • How you will be ready to produce documentation during the visit. If there is a valid reason why you can’t locate documents during the visit, the CQC inspector will usually allow you 48 hours to produce them. 
  • Including a contents page at the front of each care plan so that inspectors and your staff know what they can expect to find and where. 
  • Maintaining a folder that directs staff to where they can find information quickly, e.g. health and safety and training records. 
  • Keeping your records up to date, particularly training records
  • Checking with the inspector before they leave that they have been provided with all the documents they have asked for, and spoken to everyone they needed to.

5 – Don’t overthink it

The CQC inspector will just want to see how the organisation operates on a day to day basis. Just remember to remain calm.

If you will follow our CQC inspection checklist, then you will confidently face the CQC inspector as you will be prepared for your CQC inspection.

Are you looking to hire staff for your social care setting? 

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