With so much going on in the care sector right now, notice of a CQC inspection is probably the last thing you need. But the regulator still has a job to do, even if the way they are doing it is changing.
From August 2021 the CQC changed the emphasis for inspections of social care providers. Some of this was driven by practical problems in carrying out physical inspections during the pandemic. Changes are also driven by the CQC’s mission to become more ‘flexible and responsive.’
It’s expected that there will be further updates to the inspection regime over the coming year but here’s an insight into what you could currently expect.
The purpose of inspections hasn’t changed. But they are likely to rely more on technology and documentary evidence and less on physical inspections. Inspections will still be used to assess specific areas.
For home care services in particular the ‘inspection’ might not involve a physical visit. The emphasis may be on asking for evidence that you have addressed specific issues that affected your rating on a previous inspection.
Infection Control and DoLS
Infection control is obviously going to be high on the inspection agenda at the moment as will compliance with the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Standards.
These are difficult times in the care sector owing to staff shortages, Covid and ‘no jab, no job.’ Even so, the fundamental standards and KLOEs still apply. In the current climate two standards that can present the biggest challenge are these:
- Sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff must be deployed.
- Persons employed must have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience, and be capable of performing the work for which they are employed.
The Nuffield Trust estimates that over 40,000 care staff left the sector in the six months to October 2021. Staff turnover in the sector is at an unprecedented level. This makes the task of staying on top of training plans and mandatory training even more difficult.
If the CQC is making greater use of technology, so can you. Redcrier has an eCompetency tool you can use to ensure core skills are up-to-date. Our eBox e-learning platform also makes it easier for you to deliver essential training and track when competency certificates are due to expire.
Keeping training plans and records manually will make it harder for you to provide the evidence the CQC is seeking. If you need help to get your records and plans up to the required standard, contact Redcrier for a free initial consultation.