News
[ November 10, 2020 by Susan Newton 0 Comments ]

Care home advice “completely misses the point”, say the Alzheimer’s Society

Leading charities have criticised the government over their guidance on safe visits in care homes.

The government updated their advice on visiting policies, insisting care homes will be “encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities.”

Some of the suggestions include floor-to-ceiling screens, designated visitor pods and window visits.

Critics of this new guidance labelled them impractical and the Alzheimer’s Society said it “completely misses the point.”

Care minister Helen Whately said the new measures would mean people can see loved ones “in a safe way.”

In the first national lockdown that began in Spring, all face-to-face visits in care homes were banned.

This new government guidance comes as areas in England face strict local restrictions and the country prepares for a new national lockdown.

Kate Lee, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We’re devastated by today’s new care home visitor guidance – it completely misses the point: this attempt to protect people will kill them.”

She said speaking through phones were “frankly ridiculous when you consider someone with advanced dementia can often be bed-bound and struggling to speak”.

Those opposing the government’s advice, suggest new protocols in care homes should include more rigorous and regular testing for visitors.

Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Northamptonshire are piloting weekly testing of professionals who regularly visit care homes, to be rolled out into a new national programme in the coming weeks.

If you run a care provider and would like to organise a mock CQC inspection or an audit of your infection control standards, please get in touch with us today.

AdviceNews
[ October 15, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

The importance of finding the right CQC Registered Manager

The Care Quality Commission monitor, inspect and regulate the UK’s health and social care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, you need to have a Registered Manager to provide services, with this being applicable to services across the country. Only NHS trusts are exempt from requiring a CQC registered manager.  A registered manager is appointed by the provider and manages the day-to-day regulated activity on their behalf.

Here’s why you need the right manager, and the consequences of choosing the wrong candidate.

Quality of Care

If you’re starting a care agency or home care business, it is important that you offer the highest levels of quality you can. This can lead to your business expanding, and more importantly those that are in your care being happy and satisfied with the care received. In order to continue your business and build towards your quality goals, a CQC registered manager with a significant amount of experience could push you forwards. On the other hand, an inexperienced manager that is learning on the job could mean lower standards of care and unhappy patients or residents.

Fulfilling the Legal Requirements

Of course, a CQC registered manager is required to run any sort of care business, but there are further requirements to be fulfilled. A good CQC registered manager won’t just help you to fill this role, but will be able to assist in the legal requirements of many other facets of the job. Some completely new carers might miss a lot of the fine print in legislation and regulation, so having the right manager on board to handle this is a must.

Preparation for CQC inspections

Inspections can be a major part of life in the care industry, and they’re how you know if you’ve managed to sink or swim. The importance of these can’t be overstated, so it’s vital that you’re ready. The right CQC registered manager will know how inspections work and can get you prepared for parts of the inspection that would otherwise be a surprise. Whether through mock inspections or other preparatory work, a good manager will have you ready for anything.

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.

AdviceNews
[ August 13, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

Why are bespoke policies and procedures so important?

At CQC Compliance, our Policies and Procedures are produced bespoke to the requirements of our clients. Simply put, this is a service that you won’t find anywhere else. While healthcare services may be able to purchase template documentation elsewhere, we are the only compliance organisation that produces your documentation from scratch – and tailors each policy to the specific requirements of your organisation.

Why are bespoke policies and procedures so important – does it really matter to the CQC?

Absolutely. The Care Quality Commission is rigorous in its approach to Policies and Procedures, as they are adamant that each piece of documentation should be specifically detailed on how each policy relates to the service at hand. This is especially important during your registration with the CQC and our Registration Support team work hand-in-hand with our expert clinical policy writers to ensure that each policy meets and exceeds the high standards of the CQC.

If we purchase template documentation, can we not just adapt it to our organisation ourselves?

This is, of course, a possibility. However, our bespoke Policies and Procedures follow the same pricing structure as the template documentation you could find elsewhere. Therefore, for the same cost you would be able to enlist our expert policy writers and drastically reduce the man-hours required to adapt each policy. Given the inevitable stress and pressure of registering with the CQC or with operating an existing provider – entrusting your documentation to our industry-leading clinical policy team is a simply a no-brainer.

We’ve had a full suite of policies and procedures in place for the past few years – will these still be compliant with CQC regulations?

As any healthcare provider will understand – compliance regulations are an ever-changing entity and these regular updates must be reflected in your policies and procedures. This is not only important in remaining complaint with the Care Quality Commission but also in the day-to-day operation of your organisation. Effectively implementing your Policies and Procedures is as important – and in some cases more important – than having them in place to begin with. Our team of compliance experts are also on hand to guide and support your organisation in the implementation of your documentation – either with Compliance Audits, Mock Inspections and Management Support.

If you have any queries regarding your policies and procedures, registering with the CQC or any of our other services – please get in touch.

News
[ August 6, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

The CQC releases annual update on controlled medication and drug management

The Care Quality Commission has released its annual report on the trends and data in prescribing controlled drugs across England. The Safer Management of Controlled Drugs update also provides information on key changes to legislation. Although the update primarily covers the 2019 calendar year, the report does factor the COVID-19 response into their recommendations.

The report makes three key recommendations – centring around the monitoring and advisory procedures around repeat prescriptions, ensuring the correct systems are in place for the mobilisation of controlled drugs and reiterating the importance of patient needs regarding end of life care.

The first of these recommendations highlights the need for both patients and staff to wholly understand the nature of the medicines that are being prescribed. This includes making people aware of the potential for dependency of some repeat prescriptions.

End of life care is another key component of the update, as the report states how the understanding surrounding the needs and wishes of patients at the end of their life requires more focus. Specifically, the report highlights the ‘inappropriateness’ of a blanket approach to decisions about end of life care.

In response to COVID-19, the need for local areas to be suitably prepared for the rapid and safe mobilisation of controlled drugs – particular those vital to end of life care – in the event of a future situation in which the health and care system experiences additional pressure.

At CQC Compliance, our Mock Inspections and Compliance Audits help our clients highlight and address any issues with their drug management. Furthermore, if your service is involved with any medication or drug management, you will require the relevant Policies and Procedures that are needed to operate a compliant organisation.

If you have concerns over any aspect of controlling and managing your medication, our team are always available to support your organisation – if this is the case, please get in touch here.

AdviceNews
[ July 21, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

A year on from the CQC report on Independent Ambulance Services

In March 2019, the Care Quality Commission issued a report detailing the state of care in relation to independent ambulance services. It called upon patient transport providers and the wider system to do more to ensure the safety of patients that used these services, following a number of concerns identified during CQC inspections.

The national report analysed the quality and safety of these independent ambulance services and highlighted how many services had a poor understanding of governance which frequently led to a systemically poor recruitment process. This included the failure to enforce and sufficiently check employment references, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certification and driving licence categories.

An insufficient and inadequate recruitment process can be resolved with a dual approach, focusing on implementing a more thorough recruitment system and ensuring your policies are tailored to the compliance needs of your organisation. At CQC Compliance, our team are able to support you in both these areas, as our expert policy writing team have experience in creating bespoke policies and procedures for independent ambulance services. Furthermore, we work closely with our sister company CH Recruitment – who specialise in bespoke recruitment for healthcare providers.

Staff training was an area also highlighted by the CQC as requiring improvement in independent ambulance services. According to the report, many providers offered little or no training – including in emergency driver response training, escalating safeguarding concerns and effectively supporting those with mental health needs. Once again, at CQC Compliance our team are on hand to provide support and guidance to organisations who require additional training – either by conducting training seminars, providing training materials or offering ongoing management support.  

In addition, at CQC Compliance we can conduct Medication and Compliance Audits, another area in which the Care Quality Commission found some providers were underperforming. This included a lack of understanding around controlled drugs, specifically around safe administration, licensing and secure storage. The solution to this often begins in having excellent, bespoke policies and procedures that can be rolled out across independent ambulance services.

Since this report was published, we have been supporting various independent ambulance services on their compliance journey – from registering with the CQC to improving overall CQC ratings.

If you are an independent ambulance service or patient transport provider struggling with any of these areas or looking to improve your service, then please get in touch.

News
[ July 16, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

CQC and Ofsted provide update on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities inspections

The CQC and Ofsted have conducted a number of joint inspections since 2016, investigating how well local areas are fulfilling their responsibilities for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

These joint inspections will look at how well education, social care, and health services are collaborating to ensure that young people are receiving the support and guidance they need. Furthermore, the inspections identify which young people have special educational needs and what additional support they require.

Inspections had been suspended during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, actions are being taken to ensure that disrupted services continue to receive support. Going forward, the CQC and Ofsted will work collaboratively with local authorities in a number of interim visits which will begin this autumn.

The aim of these visits will be to support local areas in prioritising the needs of young people with special educational needs following the pandemic, as well as reporting on how different authorities can rebuild a better, more effective SEND system in the future. It will also seek to understand the experience of young people during the lockdown period, outlining the positives and negatives of children’s experiences during the last few months.

More long-term changes are also planned for SEND inspections, as CQC and Ofsted have been commissioned by the Department for Education with supporting the Department of Health and Social Care – developing a new SEND inspection framework to replace the existing framework once this cycle has concluded.

Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care at the Care Quality Commission said:

 “As a responsive regulator, we also need to make sure that we continue to learn and adapt our approach so that we can make sure people get the high quality, safe care that they deserve. We will be working with Ofsted to develop the new inspection framework for future SEND inspections and making sure that the voices and experience of children and young people with SEND, and their families, are at the heart of this.”

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
News
[ July 10, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

Crisis in care homes as visitor restrictions causing “hidden catastrophe”

Leading charities have written a letter to the health secretary, appealing for relatives of care home residents to be treated as key workers.

They argue that the current restrictions on family visitations are having “damaging consequences” on the mental and physical health of residents – particularly those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The call for a review of current limits is supported by Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society, who are asking the government to address the “hidden catastrophe” in care homes.

The letter requests that visits are allowed to resume safely and that relatives can access the same testing as staff. They are asking the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to publish more in-depth guidance on visiting procedures and for certain relatives to be granted ‘key worker’ status – which would allow them to access increased testing.

Residents with dementia make up 70% of the care home population and the charities are highlighting how the “enforced separation” of residents from their families is causing them to deteriorate more rapidly.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there have been 5,404 excess dementia and Alzheimer’s deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has released a statement outlining how they will be setting out further details on how to re-open care homes “carefully and safely”.

News
[ July 2, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

CQC survey shows patients are pleased with hospital care but home support remains a concern

A new national survey from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that most patients were pleased with the care they received in hospital but were less confident about the arrangements surrounding hospital discharge and additional support when at home.

Although the survey found that people who stayed as an inpatient in hospital were positive about the doctors and nurses treating them, many – especially those who self-reported as being frail – felt that delays in being discharged and accessing further services was more difficult.

Patients were asked to give their opinion on the care they received, the information they were given, communicating with staff and whether they were given privacy, amongst a number of other issues. This survey has been conducted annually since 2004, with new analysis undertaken in 2019 to develop a better understanding of how frail patients were supported after leaving hospital.

Some of the key findings from the 2019 survey show that most people felt they had been treated with dignity and respect, while 90% said they were always given enough privacy. Responses to questions about cleanliness, food and drink were almost entirely positive, with 97% of respondents saying that their hospital room or ward was “very clean” or “fairly clean”. More than three quarters of people said they were “always” given a choice of food, while 93% said they were given enough to drink.

However, the percentage of people who said they had a long wait before getting a bed increased by 4% from 2018 to 2019. In addition, 41% of people said they were only sometimes able or not able to get help from a staff member. Over a third of patients surveyed also left hospital without printed or written information telling them what they should do.

Responding to these findings Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals said:

“This year’s results indicate that people are facing longer discharge delays and reveal continued concerns around the quality of information provided when they are ready to return home. It is particularly worrying that for people who self-report as being frail, the difficulties in accessing support after leaving hospital were even greater.”

For a full breakdown of the survey and its findings, head over to the CQC website.

News
[ June 24, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

Updated CQC inspection guidance for independent ambulance services

Emergency transport and ambulance services are an area of healthcare that has rapidly had to adapt in recent months. This has been particularly difficult for independent ambulance services. As part of the Emergency Support Framework, the CQC has released information which outlines the areas of discussion that may arise between an inspector and these services.

The CQC will focus on four different areas, with the intention being to highlight any areas in which services may require support. The inspector that interacts with a service may not cover all the questions, but they will look to establish a clear understanding of your organisation.

The first area which they look to cover will be ‘safe care and treatment’, which covers everything from infection prevention and control (IPC) to waste disposal. Primarily, the inspectors are looking at whether service providers have sufficient IPC measures to deal with COVID-19 and whether these are being audited to ensure staff compliance. In addition, services must show that systems are in place to identify people who have been, or are at risk of, being infected.

‘Staffing arrangements’ and ‘risk management’ are two other areas that will be assessed in discussions with inspectors. The CQC will look to see how the pandemic has affected the provider’s ability to handle staffing shortages and if the personnel have the right knowledge and skills to provide people with care. Furthermore, they will assess whether the service has been able to protect the health and safety of staff, and whether they have implemented effective systems to monitor the quality and safety of care.

The final area of discussion will be regarding ‘protection from abuse’ – which will analyse how the people utilising the service have been safeguarded from abuse, neglect and discrimination. The CQC will also look at whether the provider has been able to properly manage any incidents and concerns throughout the pandemic.

The CQC will decide which providers need to be prioritised and which areas to discuss with individual services based on ‘data indicators’ – which could be the time since last inspection, whether they received a complaint about the service, if a registered manager is not in place or whether there have been any unexpected deaths in the last 12 months.

The full updated guidance can be found here.

News
[ June 17, 2020 by Will Rosebury 0 Comments ]

Rushed hospital discharges contributed to care home COVID-19 crisis, according to ADASS

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has said that the rushed discharge of patients from hospitals to care homes during the peak of COVID-19, led to a surge in care home deaths.

In a survey of directors, almost a quarter thought that rapid hospital discharges were responsible for more than half of care home infections, with ADASS president James Bullion saying – “A focus on rapid discharge when there were shortages of PPE, questions about testing and the ability to isolate people in social care meant that some people ended up in the wrong place to meet their needs.”

Only 11% of directors felt that every patient was discharged to the right place to meet their needs during the period, while ADASS also found that a significant proportion of people leaving hospital didn’t receive an assessment of their needs as part of their discharge.

The ADASS report goes on to explain how the lack of testing for people leaving hospital could have accelerated the spread of coronavirus in care homes.

“Given what we know about the spread of COVID-19 in care home settings in particular, it is obviously greatly concerning that untested individuals were potentially discharged to settings that had insufficient PPE and also to where suspected COVID-19 positive individual could not isolate safely,” said ADASS.