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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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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.
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.
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:
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.