Are you ready for your CQC IPC Inspection?

Are you ready for your CQC IPC Inspection?

Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) has always been an important part of delivering a Regulated Activity in any health and social care setting, but the advent of COVID-19 has brought IPC to the forefront of every provider’s mind.

CQC have commenced thematic reviews of IPC and are now routinely inspecting, either virtually, or by “crossing the threshold” to ensure those standards are being met.

They have developed, and shared, eight key questions, that they will be asking, to form the foundation of the inspection process. Take the time to consider the questions as a Provider, as a Registered Manager and with your staff team. IPC is an individual and a team responsibility, to keep those you care for safe, to keep staff safe and to keep visitors of any kind safe. We have drafted some additional points below the CQC key questions to help you with this:

  1. Are all types of visitors prevented from catching and spreading infections?
    • Do you have hand sanitisers in use?
    • Are they full?
    • Do you have a “champion” who checks them e.g. hourly to make sure any that have run out are topped up?

  2. Are shielding and social distancing rules complied with?

  3. Are people admitted into the service safely?
    • Are new users tested before admission?
    • Are new users supported in a separate space during a period of quarantine?
    • Are you a care home who has applied to CQC to be a Designated Unit?

  4. Does the service use PPE effectively to safeguard staff and people using services?
    • Are your staff using the correct masks, gloves and aprons?
    • Do you have adequate supplies?

  5. Is there adequate access to testing for staff and people using services?
    • Are you utilising the staff and resident testing service?
    • Are you documenting who has been tested and when, and all the results?

  6. Does the layout of premises, use of space and hygiene practice, promote safety?

  7. Does staff training practices and deployment show the service can prevent and/or manage outbreaks?
    • Have staff been trained in relation to donning and doffing PPE?
    • Is laundry managed in accordance with IPC rules and protocols
    • Is there a protocol in place if a staff member develops symptoms/tests positive? Do they know what to do? Do the team know what to do?
    • Is there a protocol in place if a service user develops symptoms/tests positive? Do the team know what to do?

  8. Is the IPC policy up to date and implemented effectively?
    • You need to ensure your IPC policy is up to date, particularly including in relation to current COVID management practices.

Whilst you may go down this list of questions and think “yes – we do all of that”, do take the time to reaffirm everything with your staff team and make sure everyone does know what to do and that they have all had up to date training. All too often less than perfect practices creep in, too many staff members are pulling their mask down to speak or not maintaining social distancing. It is very easy to fall into bad habits and it is as important as ever, to maintain the highest standards of IPC, and showcase to the CQC how well your service has adapted and keeps people safe.

A CQC IPC inspection should follow the same process as a normal inspection – you should get feedback from the Inspector at the end of the inspection and should receive a draft report to review and where necessary challenge via the Factual Accuracy Process. If you are unhappy with an IPC inspection, or indeed any inspection, Hempsons’ Health and Social Care Team can support any Provider in bringing a challenge.