The Fundamental Standards – Staffing
In the latest in our series of articles on the CQC Fundamental Standards of Care, Philippa Doyle looks at Regulation 18 – Staffing.
- Sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced persons must be deployed in order to meet the requirements of this Part
Let’s unpack that, because there is a lot there! How do CQC measure your compliance against this regulation?
You need to be in a position to evidence you have enough staff to meet the assessed needs of the individuals you support. CQC default position is that they expect a dependency tool to be in use which calculates based on the needs of your clients, how many staff you need at any one time. But there is a no statutory requirement to have a dependency tool, so if you have a different way of working it out – that’s fine – so long as you can evidence to CQC how it works, and that your clients are safe. This can be one of the biggest hurdles to get over with CQC, is ensuring you can show you’ve got the right number of people on the rota at the right time.
Are your personnel files up to date? Do you have copies of everyone’s certificates? Have your team got the qualifications they need? Especially if you are delivering nursing care but also on the general care side with NVQ levels. Have your got a Registered Manager in post?
“Competent and skilled”
Have staff been on the right training courses? Is their mandatory training up to date? Make sure you have a spreadsheet or similar which sets out who’s mandatory training needs completing and by when. Then make sure you can follow through in terms of that training being booked, and undertaken, and then logged in their personnel file and in your central spreadsheet. Many services can be very caring with staff who have worked in care for a great many years, but if their mandatory and other training isn’t up-to-date and evidenced, it can let you down in other areas.
Make sure you’ve got the right skill mix in your team – don’t leave juniors/new members of staff on shift on their own – everyone needs a support structure and you need to evidence to CQC that the experience levels are balanced.
Remember that training is a key component to people doing their job, and doing it well. Part 2 of Regulation 18 is all about training – persons employed by the service provider in the provision of a regulated activity must received such appropriate support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisal as is necessary to enable them to carry out the duties they are employed to perform.
More bits to unpack there: “appropriate support”, “training”, “professional development”, “supervision and appraisal” . Different key areas to cover within personnel files and across your service which feed back into the points identified above. Training and professional development are of course two separate things to consider. Not everyone will want professional development – they might not want to go up a stage but they do need to ensure they are maintaining their mandatory requirements so the two don’t always go hand in hand.
That cannot be said however for supervision and appraisal. There should be a formal system in place in relation to both, that is clearly documented as a standard process and then is evidenced in each staff members personnel file. Keep an overarching spreadsheet too to make sure all the supervisions and appraisals are on track and up-to-date.
Staffing is regularly one of the big headaches of running a business, and managing people will rarely get any easier, but getting the basics of the framework right in terms of support, training, and supervision means no matter how many staff fall outs you have, the team is still operating at the right level and meeting the required standards.
For more detail on the Fundamental Standards of Care, have a look at our CQC resource page, or for more information contact Philippa Doyle on 01423 724028 or email@example.com or via the Social Care Advice line where you can access 15 mins free advice.