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Who Suffers All the Stress of CQC Inspections? Ideally Nobody Does

Changes to the CQC inspection framework usually cause concern among providers. Anything that threatens to increase workloads and admin in an already stretched service will naturally be a worry. But providers should find plenty to welcome in the revised inspection and KLOEs framework being introduced in the autumn.

As with the existing framework, inspections are much less daunting when it’s a team effort. When everyone understands and is confident about how they should be acting, the stress levels caused by an inspection are much lower.

Much of the new framework will be familiar. Some of the terminology has changed to align with the health sector, which will reduce complexity for providers who deliver more than one service. It’s also part of the longer term goal of better service integration.

Overall the CQC is aiming for a more targeted and collaborative approach. The content and timing of inspections will be more responsive to how providers are structured.

To provide clarity there will be one handbook for all Care services and one for Health services, with supporting documents for different service types.

The framework retains the five areas of focus: Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well Led. The focus of Caring has been strengthened to look at how the service supports a caring culture and meets individual needs. Within the Well Led section there is a greater emphasis on the sustainability of the service. An important element of financial sustainability is to have a well-trained and motivated workforce and excellent staff retention.

Specific prompts are included for the following aspects to ensure they are part of the inspection:

  • System leadership, integration and information sharing.
  • Information governance and data security
  • Technology
  • Medicines
  • End of life care
  • Personalisation, social action and the use of volunteers

The question for every provider is how they can see themselves reacting when they get notified of an impending inspection. Inevitably there will be some anxiety on the part of Registered Managers – that’s just a normal human reaction. But beyond that there should be a sense of calm: ‘this isn’t all about me, we have invested in the knowledge, skills and competence of our team. I’m confident that, together, we will all take this inspection in our stride.’

A lot of pressure can be removed from the care home and your team if everyone has the right training; knowing what to expect during an inspection, how best to respond and they feel secure in the knowledge that they are compliant. If you would like to discuss your training arrangements, contact us today on 01823 332200 or take a look at our website for more information.