New approach to CQC inspection

The Covid 19 pandemic has seen the way many services operate change, with many face to face services going on-line and digital in a way never seen before.

One of those changes is seen with the new CQC approach to inspection.

The introduction of their Emergency Support Framework gave CQC a structured way to have telephone conversations with providers to ensure the same information was captured from each service and led onto the transitional monitoring approach, with risk at the core.

Developments in their approach will be threefold:

  • improving the CQC’s ability to monitor risk to help them be more targeted in their regulatory activity
  • bringing information together in one place for inspection teams, presented in a way that supports inspectors with their decision making
  • testing elements of how they want to work in the future, including how they provide a more up-to-date view of risk for people who use services.[1]

The initial plan is to carry out monthly reviews. They will look at what evidence they already hold, compared with information received from a provider during the monthly review. If they find no evidence telling them they need to re-assess a rating or quality, they will publish a short statement on their website for the service. This will be shared with the provider by email in advance.

Where, however, the information gathered suggests an increase in risk, then an immediate on-site inspection may take place to allow the inspectors to gather more detailed information. This may result in an update to the provider’s rating.

Great, so far so good: a monthly monitoring call and possibly less full blown inspections, but that might also mean if you’re a borderline “requires improvement” “good” service, less scope to get that rating up to good or higher, as if there’s limited risk, there will be limited basis for inspection.

The CQC report does go on to say there will be random sampling, so the inspectors could still call at any time.  But for those middle of the road services striving to get better, the relative prediction of an inspection once a year, may now be less of a reality.

Of course all services should be operating at the top of their game and ensuring compliance with the Fundamental Standards of Care at all times – for advice and assistance in any dealing with CQC, or for bespoke training on the Fundamental Standards of Care for your service team, get in touch with our specialist lawyers.




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