Advice
[ February 23, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

What Do CQC Inspections Entail?

When establishing a health or social care provider, one of the most stressful things you have to deal with is CQC inspections.

The purpose of CQC inspections is to ensure that service-users are cared for in an effective and dignified way, whilst also supporting those offering care.

CQC inspections are almost always unannounced, which can make them even more stressful if you are ill-prepared. However, they are conducted to ensure that your institution is operating in compliance with the law, not to catch people out. The best way to prepare, is to book a mock CQC inspection with our team, which will go through the process of the actual inspection, as well as producing you a report and improvements for the real thing.

In the meantime, it is important to understand what CQC inspections entail.

The Start of the Visit

At the start of every CQC inspection, the inspection team usually meets with the senior staff and they explain:

• Who the inspection team are
• The purpose and scope of the inspection
• How they will communicate the findings

Inspections of GP practices, GP out-of-hours services and acute hospitals begin with a presentation by the care provider, giving their own view of their performance.

Gathering Evidence

During these visits, inspectors focus on the experience your patients get and the impact that has on their health and wellbeing. The inspection is mainly based on the five Key Lines of Enquiry which aim to prove whether your service is safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led. To do that, they will speak to patients, staff, family members and members of the patient participation group.

Inspectors will also observe how the staff interacts with the patients to see how well the service responds to the patients’ needs. As most CQC visits are unannounced, you will not be required to provide any paperwork prior to the inspection, but they might ask for it during or after, so always have it ready.

It is important to note that there are two types of inspections:

Comprehensive Inspection

Comprehensive inspections take an in-depth view of the entire service, addressing all of the five Key Lines of Enquiry. The inspection takes a day or two to complete, after which you are given a rating. If the inspectors believe there is a risk to the patients’ safety and wellbeing, that could negatively affect your overall rating.

Focused Inspection

Focused inspections are often conducted as a follow up to a previous visit and are therefore more targeted. Inspectors do not look at all five Key Lines of Enquiry, but rather one well-led key question. That said, they can expand it to a comprehensive inspection if new concerns arise.

The best way to get through any CQC inspection is to make sure that you are well prepared. At CQC Compliance Ltd, we can help you conduct a mock CQC inspection to ensure that you are ready for your inspection and any issues are identified and dealt with beforehand. Contact us today for more information.

Advice
[ February 18, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

What to Do If Your Service Has Been Given an Enforcement Action

Every care service sets out striving to offer the best service possible. But, sometimes, standards can slip without anyone realising. This can be due to a number of factors. Whatever the cause, it is important those issues are rectified.

An enforcement action can be a daunting prospect, but CQC Compliance are on hand to help you navigate the process.

What Is an Enforcement Action?

An enforcement action is an official notice of required action, filed by the CQC (Care Quality Commission). This is generally as a result of a CQC inspection.

In a nutshell, it means deviations have been found from established care standards, and your service is on notice to rectify them before further action or penalties result.

The action the CQC takes will be proportionate to the impact that the breach has on the people who use the service and how serious it is.

It is important to note that you must not be complacent if you have received an enforcement action, as the CQC is using its powers to de-register “failing” organisations who do not adequately respond to their requirements.

What Should You Do About It?

At CQC Compliance Ltd, we can help you to better understand the nature of your enforcement notice, and then advise you on the best ways to rectify the highlighted issues.

We can help you through a series of practical steps to ensure your organisation is brought back up to a high standard.

Our support varies based on your needs as a business. We can help you with anything from giving you advice on best practice to deal with a specific issue, through to staging a mock CQC inspection to ensure you will be able to pass. Our service is designed to help you understand where standards have slipped, why it has happened, and exactly what you can do to rectify the issue.

Using the expertise and knowledge of our team, you can find your way back to providing truly outstanding service every day.


Representations


If the CQC decide to issue a warning notice, a registered person will have 10 working days to make a written representation to us.

The process for making representations regarding warning notices are different to that of other types of enforcement action. For instance, there is no right of appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal against a warning notice, you can only make representations to the CQC.

To find out more, visit the CQC’s website here.

Have You Been Served an Enforcement Notice?

If you have been served an enforcement notice, or you would like to make sure your organisation is going to pass an upcoming inspection, CQC Compliance Ltd can help you. Our dedicated team of professionals have an extensive understanding of CQC procedures and guidelines and can provide you with practical and effective advice.

Contact CQC Compliance Ltd today for more information.

Advice
[ February 9, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

Challenging Your CQC Inspection Draft Report

As the CQC is a public body, it must be able to show that its decisions and inspections are lawful and have followed the correct procedures. This is why the factual accuracy check was introduced for any provider to have a final say before inspection reports are released.

The factual accuracy check deals allow health and social care providers to challenge areas of a draft CQC report that they believe is wrong or incomplete. This is an important phase as it enables the providers to rectify the contentious points before the report goes public. It also means that it is very difficult for providers to subsequently challenge reports once they have been published.

The CQC state that: “the factual accuracy process gives inspectors and providers the opportunity to ensure that they see and consider all relevant information that will form the basis of CQC’s judgements.”


What Is the Timeline from Receiving the Factual Accuracy Draft Report?


When issuing a draft report, providers will receive an email from the CQC that states they have 10 working days from the date of the email to submit their challenge. This includes the points you wish to make and any extra supporting information that you think is essential “to influence the content the report and/or judgements.”



What Is the Problem?


Many providers have claimed that the email from the CQC has been dated one or more days before it is actually sent. This means that many providers have been advised that their deadline is actually a lot earlier than it really is.

It is assumed that the CQC are generating their letters and dating them with the presumption the email will be sent on the same day.

However, some inspectors have been asking providers for factual accuracy challenges before the 10 working days are up. This has meant many providers have felt they are out of time for their challenge submission and have had their reports published despite not being finalised through the process.


What Should You Do as a Provider?


As a provider, it is important that you calculate the correct deadline from the date you receive the draft report by email.

If your covering letter is a different date to your report, it is advisable that you contact the CQC for written confirmation of your deadline.

This ensures that you have enough time to challenge the draft report before it is published and can benefit from the full 10 working day period.


How Do I Challenge the Factual Accuracy Report?


If you are unhappy with your factual accuracy report and its ratings, is important that you utilise this process.

To challenge, you must ensure that you have solid grounds to do so. You must also ensure that your challenge is laid out clearly and concisely with robust evidence to support your claims.

If you have received a draft inspection and want to make a factual accuracy challenge, contact us today and our team of specialists can advise you of the next steps.

Advice
[ February 2, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

What Do CQC Inspectors Look For?

If you have a health and social care provider, it is highly likely that you will be inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The purpose of CQC inspections is to ensure that service-users are cared for in an effective and dignified way, whilst also supporting those offering care.

During these visits, CQC inspectors ask five questions (Is your service Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-Led?) that form the basis of your CQC rating.

Is your provider safe?

The safety of your service user should always be your top priority. CQC inspectors will want to know that you protect your service-users from abuse or any form of avoidable harm. They will therefore look at the cleanliness and hygiene of your provider and all the equipment. They will also enquire about how many trained staff members are on duty and their ability to cater to your service-users’ needs.

Is your provider effective?

Being an effective provider is of utmost importance within the health and social care sector. To prove that your support, care, and treatment have a good outcome, CQC inspectors will look at how service-users are treated.

For example, if you operate a care home, the CQC inspectors will look for factors such as:

•  How the patients are fed.
•  If family members are consulted on care decisions.
•  If the staff know every patient’s health needs and personal preferences.
•  If the staff has the knowledge and skills to offer these services.

Is your provider caring?

CQC inspectors expect private clinics and home care service providers to treat all their patients with compassion, dignity, kindness, and respect. During an inspection, the CQC inspectors will look into how you take care of your service users’ needs. These can be based on their differences, including disabilities, gender, age and religion.

Is your provider responsive to people’s needs?

Your services should be organised to ensure that all service user’s needs are met. This includes their physical, mental, and psychological needs.

CQC inspection reports are also made up of direct observation of people’s experience of the care being given, as well as conversations with caregiving teams and families of those living in a care environment. As this is the case, CQC inspectors may interview these service users to find out how well they are taken care of.

Is your provider well-led?

High quality leadership and governance are essential in the health and social care industry as it often translates into high quality care for service users. Therefore, it is essential for health and social care providers to have a Registered Manager who oversees all operations, which is something CQC inspectors will be looking for on their visits.

If you are unsure about the role of the Registered Manager within your provider, you can read the CQC guidelines to help Registered Managers and teams understand their responsibilities.

To ensure you are delivering high quality care, you must ensure that you are always prepared for your CQC inspection, particularly are they are unannounced. The best way to prepare for an actual CQC inspection is to organise a mock inspection with our team. Mock CQC inspections are a useful tool to help identify, analyse and record areas of good practices and non-complying practices within regulated care settings.

Get in touch with the CQC Compliance team to discuss your specific requirements and to arrange your mock CQC inspection.

Advice
[ January 26, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

How to Prepare for a CQC Inspection

The purpose of CQC inspections is to ensure that service-users are cared for in an effective and dignified way, whilst also supporting those offering care.

CQC inspections aren’t designed to catch people out, or to “name and shame” they’re designed to offer concrete suggestions for improvement, as well as to showcase what a provider has done well. The role of CQC is to help everyone have the best possible experience of care.

CQC inspection reports are made up of direct observation of people’s experience of the care being given, as well as conversations with caregiving teams and families of those living in a care environment.


How Can You Prepare for A CQC Inspection?


Although CQC visits are unannounced, there are various ways you can make sure you’re prepared for your inspection and be certain that you’re delivering care to the very best standard.

The best way to prepare for an actual CQC inspection is to organise a mock inspection with our team. Mock CQC inspections are a useful tool to help identify, analyse and record areas of good practices and non-complying practices within regulated care settings.


What Does a Mock CQC Inspection Involve?


Our Inspection Support includes:

  • A comprehensive series of audits, interviews and checks carried out by a compliance expert.
  • A full compliance audit covering the five SCREW questions (Is your service Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-Led?) that form the basis of your CQC rating.
  • A report produced following the mock inspection which will identify any potential breaches, areas for improvement and an action plan.

By following the same guidelines and principles of the CQC, detailed feedback can be generated to outline key findings from the mock inspection. They can also help you to attain the rating you deserve.

The inspection will be carried out using a suite of five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE) principles which can be bespoke to your care service provider.


Other ways to help you prepare are:

• Read CQC guidelines to help Registered Managers and teams understand their responsibilities.
• Review any reports from previous inspections to be sure that areas for improvement have been actioned.
• Review the reports of similar service providers to understand what best practice looks like.
• Review your appraisal, training, and meeting programmes to be sure you’re offering the best support and development to every member of your team.
• Have the outcome for those needing care and support at the forefront of your reviews.
• Develop documentation, review and reporting systems that are easy to use and easy to action. All managers should be able to access these documents.
• Have regular conversations with your team about compliance and confidence.

A simple checklist and a solid understanding of the CQC inspections can help to provide consistent high-quality care.

We want to work with you to ensure you receive a personalised service that suits your needs. Get in touch to discuss your specific requirements and to arrange your mock CQC inspection.

Advice
[ January 18, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

Why You Should Start An Independent Business

Why Choose Independent?

Being an independent care provider can appear daunting, however with the right support, having the autonomy and drive to succeed can yield huge rewards – for both you and those in your care.

The main reason that people choose to start their own independent business is the level of control they can have over it. Compared to starting a franchised business, you have complete control over the direction and ethos of your organisation.

However, having the independence to make your own decisions makes your service more efficient, while being able to tailor your processes benefits those in your care by directly addressing their requirements. Being part of a franchise can sometimes feel like being at the wheel of an ocean liner, as any variation from the course set out by the centralised organisation can prove to be difficult and time consuming.

Going independent also has significant financial benefits, as starting a franchised company can often come with huge upfront fees and ongoing royalty payments to the franchisor. This may benefit your organisation in the short-term, but further down the line you may end up feeling constrained by the limitations and financial commitment to the centralised group.

The Problem with Franchises


The biggest downside in buying into a franchise is the lack of autonomy. Ultimately, the key decisions, such as the services and products you sell are down to the franchisor. Typically, you would not even have control over the business’ opening hours, marketing or even where your franchise is located.

Some may argue that the downside to starting your own independent health and social care business is that you are unable to benefit from the access to the franchisor’s key resources and support. This may include training, ongoing support and marketing materials. If you choose to start an independent business with support from CQC Compliance, you can enjoy the autonomy of your own business model as well as benefiting from the guidance we provide.

For a fraction of the cost of being part of a franchise, you could have access to industry-leading compliance support from the CQC Compliance team. We are exceptionally proud of our Senior Management team, who offer an unparalleled level of expertise and experience – and are comprised of CQC inspectors, GPs, CQC Registration Managers, Clinical Nurse Leads and an NHS Governance Director.

Our support includes comprehensive CQC registration support, a full suite of bespoke policies and procedures, mock CQC inspections, business and marketing support, recruitment support, ongoing compliance support and much more.

Key Benefits

Benefits of being an independent care provider:

  • Complete autonomy over your business.
  • The freedom to build your own brand.
  • Deliver a bespoke service to those in your care.
  • Significant financial rewards and freedom.
  • Industry-level support and guidance from CQC Compliance.

At CQC Compliance Ltd, we really do offer the best of both worlds, with all of the benefits of starting your own independent business.

We want to work with you to ensure you receive a personalised service that suits your needs. Get in touch to discuss your specific requirements and ensure you excel as a care provider.

Advice
[ January 7, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

Why Is Patient-Focused Care Important In A Care Home?

What is patient-focused care?

Patient-focused care is where the patient is put at the heart of their care, allowing them to make decisions and feel in control. It can create a positive, collaborative environment where patients feel valued and comfortable.

In a care home, patient-focused care can make residents feel like they really are at home, and their needs are a high-priority. This is also an important factor when it comes to CQC inspections, as it demonstrates your commitment to continuously improving your care home.

Why is it so beneficial?

Patient-focused care offers a personalised approach to care. It enables patients to take control of their futures and make more informed choices. Most importantly, it allows people to live more independent lives, free from generalised impersonal care.

Some institutions that do not offer patient-centred care take a regimented and depersonalised approach. This can offer very little choice for the patient, resulting in them not being able to shape their care to fit their personal needs.

Patient-centred care is advocated by disabled people and third sector organisations, becoming embedded in social care policy over recent years.


Listening to your patients

To offer outstanding care, it is important that you listen to your patients and encourage them to be actively involved in their care. You can do this in several ways, including having a residents meeting where you ask the group what they like, what they would like to change and what could be improved for them. This can be difficult in certain settings, so make sure you have other ways of involving patients in their care.

Other ways of implementing patient-focused care include involving the resident and their family in the care planning process, having a suggestions box and letting residents choose what activities they want to do.

Implementing changes

It is vital that you take patient feedback onboard and make positive changes in your care home.

Make sure that you tell patients about any changes, where you could keep a record of them on the wall for everyone to see, in a ‘you said, we did’ format. This can encourage more patients to get involved as they know their opinions matter.

You can also schedule in one-to-one time with patients and staff so they can engage in a positive discussion about their care.

What does the CQC say?


Regulation 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 states that people who are receiving a service are entitled to care or treatment that is personalised specifically for them. The regulation describes how providers must ensure each person receives appropriate person-centred care and treatment, based on an assessment of their needs and preferences.

Providers must make sure that decisions are made by those with the legal authority or responsibility to do so, but they must work within the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which includes the duty to consult others such as carers, families and/or advocates where appropriate.

The CQC must refuse registration to any provider that cannot prove to a satisfactory level that complies with Regulation 9.

CQC guidance


At CQC Compliance, we believe that every care home can provide exceptional care, but sometimes you might need a little guidance. Whether you need help with your CQC registration or organising mock CQC inspections, we’re here to help.

Get in touch to discuss your specific requirements and how we can work with you to ensure you receive a personalised service that suits your needs.

Advice
[ January 4, 2021 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

What Are the Benefits of Arranging a Mock CQC Inspection?

The best way to prepare for an actual CQC inspection is to organise a mock inspection with our team. Mock CQC inspections are a useful tool to help identify, analyse and record areas of good practices and non-complying practices within regulated care settings.

By following the same guidelines and principles of the CQC, detailed feedback can be generated to outline key findings from the mock inspection. They can also help you to attain the rating you deserve.

The inspection will be carried out using a suite of five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE) principles which can be bespoke to your care service provider.

The 5 SCREW questions asked for every Mock CQC Inspection are
:

  1. Is the service safe?
  2. Is it caring?
  3. Is it responsive?
  4. Is it effective?
  5. Is it well-led? 

Hear from the Experts

Our team is comprised of experienced CQC inspectors, GPs, an NHS Clinical Governance Director and CQC Registration Team Managers. This means that our mock inspections are carried out by one of our compliance experts, who will have in-depth knowledge and experience of your service area. Our experts will also be able to provide specific solutions that are tailored to address the issues, challenges and obligations of your care provider.

Beat the Nerves

Undertaking mock CQC inspections are a fantastic way to ensure staff members are familiar with the CQC inspection process. This helps to make it feel less daunting when it comes to undergoing an official visit, as it will help to build confidence and strength amongst staff members and management.

Tackling Any Issues Before Your Next CQC Visit

Your service will undergo a rigorous evaluation in line with the same standards that CQC will use, culminating in a publicly reported compliance visit. Audit visits can either be announced or unannounced depending on your preference.

The mock inspection itself mirrors the CQC inspection process, which will include interviews with staff and service users. It will also include a full compliance audit covering the five key questions that form the basis of your CQC rating.


Following the mock inspection, our team will produce a comprehensive report and action plan which will identify any potential breaches and suggested improvements. Working together, we can then resolve the issues we identified and maintain the improvements in the long term. Our inspection support will give you the confidence that your service meets all requirements.


Care homes that carry out frequent mock CQC inspections have been shown to provide higher standards relative to the regulated care standards set out by the CQC.

What Does a Mock CQC Inspection Involve?

Our Inspection Support includes:

  • A comprehensive series of audits, interviews and checks carried out by a compliance expert.
  • A full compliance audit covering the five SCREW questions (Is your service Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-Led?) that form the basis of your CQC rating.
  • A report produced following the mock inspection which will identify any potential breaches, areas for improvement and an action plan.

We want to work with you to ensure you receive a personalised service that suits your needs. Get in touch to discuss your specific requirements and to arrange your mock CQC inspection.

Advice
[ December 22, 2020 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

How do I stay compliant with CQC?

Why is ongoing compliance support so vital?

Ongoing compliance support is vital for any health or social care environment.

However, ensuring that processes, policies and training are up to date can often be neglected or delivered in a manner that is more of a box-ticking exercise than about boosting knowledge and performance.

We understand that you want to focus on delivering high-quality care and keeping up to date with training and changing regulations can be extremely time-consuming. Our ongoing support will keep you updated with any regulatory changes and help you to keep ahead of the curve in relation to compliance.

Our expert team are fully equipped and able to carry out ongoing compliance that is not only bespoke to you and your service but also of a high-quality to continually meet CQC standards.

Understand every aspect of the CQC

At CQC Compliance Ltd, our team of experts have a thorough understanding of the Care Quality Commission and are well placed to deliver training on a range of CQC policies and procedures.

A big part of our ongoing compliance is to help you prepare for your CQC inspection and the best way to do this is to organise a mock inspection with our team. With an onsite visit, we can identify potential regulation breaches and any other areas of improvement. We will work with you to tailor the inspection to your area of service provision and individual requirements. The inspection will be undertaken by one of our compliance experts, who will have an in-depth knowledge and experience of your service area.

We work in conjunction with you to ensure essential compliance and quality assurance standards are met. We will produce audit reports covering the five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) and identify any wider improvements that need to be made.

Expert guidance and support, when you need it 


At times, it can be easy for senior staff to fall behind on the compliance and regulatory detail, as many are so focused on delivering an exceptional service for those in their care. Having a compliance expert available at the end of the phone or booked in to implement processes on-site can ensure peace of mind for senior staff, who can be confident that the organisation is in safe, comfortable and compliant hands.

Our support will minimise the workload of your business, so that you can focus on running a successful provider. Whatever the issue, our expert team have worked across the board in public and private healthcare.

We offer a multitude of services including mock CQC inspections, business and marketing guidance, compliance audits, recruitment support as well as 24/7 telephone and email support.

All of these components are essential to truly excel as a care provider.

Advice
[ December 8, 2020 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

What Happens When There Isn’t A Registered Manager?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitor, inspect and regulate the UK’s health and social care services.

When registered with the CQC, providers of social care and health services are required to have a Registered Manager. They are appointed by the provider and manage the day-to-day regulated activity on their behalf. Only NHS Trusts are exempt from requiring a CQC Registered Manager. However, there are often circumstances in which your provider may not have a Registered Manager for a period of time – but what could the consequences be?

What Do The Regulations Say?

Regulation 7 of the Health and Social Care Act 2014 stipulates that: “People who use services have their needs met because the regulated activity is managed by an appropriate person.”

The guidance goes on to describe who would be considered an “appropriate person” to act as the Registered Manager, including an individual who has the necessary competence, qualifications, experience and skills to manage the regulated activity, plus other qualities.

Why A Service Might Be Without A Registered Manager

If you’re starting a care agency or home care business, having a skilled and experienced Registered Manager is one of the key components of success. They will allow you to deliver care service to a high standard, which is the fundamental goal for any provider.  

However, many care organisations experience difficulties in recruiting suitable people to fill managerial positions from time to time.

Managers often leave services at short notice. For example, they can become sick or experience a significant change in personal circumstances which affects their ability to continue in the role.

In 2019/20, there was a vacancy rate of around 12% in management positions in regulated care services in England alone. For a sector with almost 26,000 registered locations, that’s over 3,100 providers operating without a manager.

Our sister company, CH Recruitment and Compliance, can help you to find the perfect Registered Manager that is suited to your provider.

What Actions Can The CQC Take?

It is an offence under the Health and Social Care Act to operate a registered service without a Registered Manager if the provider is required to do so. In the first instance, the CQC will write to providers informing them of the need to appoint a registered manager.

Providers who fail to comply with the condition to have a registered manager could get a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from the CQC.


What Could the Impact Be on Your Provider?

It is clear to see that the absence of a Registered Manager will negatively affect CQC inspection ratings. A CQC inspection will, more often than not, consider that a service cannot be rated highly in the absence of a Registered Manager. This is particularly the case for the “well-led” key domain. A service which is not considered to be “well-led” is highly unlikely to receive a favourable inspection rating by the CQC. As inspection ratings are published and must be displayed on the provider’s premises, any rating less than “good” can be damaging to reputation and to business. It will also lead to increased inspection scrutiny by the CQC themselves, who will consider the service to be “high risk”, as well as likely action being taken by local authority commissioners.

If you are looking for support in finding the right Registered Manager, or any part of the registration process, please get in touch with the CQC Compliance team today. Our in-house management team has years of experience and can support you throughout your registration process.

Find out what our clients say about their experience with CQC Compliance.