The thought of a CQC inspector knocking on the door at short notice can send shivers down the spine of the highly rated and most compliant of care home owners. Typically, a 48-hour notice period is all the warning a care home will receive before the inspector sets foot over the threshold.
Preparing for a visit can be an arduous and time-consuming task, but there are a number of checks a care home can perform in readiness for an inspection.
Firstly, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the framework in place, and fully appreciate what will happen when the inspector visits. This will help the whole process run smoothly. Being prepared can make a big difference to your future ratings.
What is the current framework?
Firstly, it is wise to fully appreciate and understand the documentation set around the framework when preparing for your visit. This will create an understanding of what is expected from you and how to make sure your inspection runs smoothly.
Typically, the five questions the CQC will be asking are:
- Is your care facility led properly from the top?
- Do you provide a safe environment for your residents?
- Is the care you provide effective?
- Are you providing the right kind of care?
- Is the quality of your care adequately responding to resident’s needs?
The inspector will be looking for evidence of these five areas, and the care you provide needs to meet with the standards he/she is looking for. These particular requirements were introduced in 2014, and the Key Lines of Enquiry have since been reevaluated and updated in 2017 under the acronym, KLOES.
The updates to the framework has added additional KLOES, and particularly focuses on leadership, information sharing/governance and security of the data you hold. Also included is end of life care, personalization, social action, medicines and how you use volunteers.
Evidence in efficient and organized documentation.
Any care provider will fully appreciate the level of documentation required for any one resident, and keeping documentation stored and recorded efficiently is not only wise for a forthcoming inspection, it is extremely helpful when trying to provide a high-quality care provision. Documentation can be provided before and post visit, but of course having this available during the inspection is extremely helpful and will create a good impression of your facility.
Compliance is a key denominator when it comes to achieving a good rating for your care facility, and poorly kept paper work can potentially put doubt in the mind of the inspector. Putting in internal policies and monitoring systems are essential, and our very own LOLER Asset Register is a perfect acquisition, with all documentation/certification for equipment held in one online fully accessible location. Cloud-based technology provides us with fabulous tools that care providers can tap into to help the process of becoming and remaining compliant.
Having an action plan in place for inspections
A compliance action plan is a key essential ingredient to help you organize everything ready for that inspection.
This can set out how as a care provider you meet with the key questions being asked, further allowing you to answer the inspector’s questions with great efficiency. It can also highlight areas for improvement and prove to the inspector you are absolutely clear on all aspects of your care provision, but also where you can make improvements. A proactive demonstration that you are in control, and fully conversant with opportunities to improve your care services is a real positive!
What happens on the day?
The inspector will be very busy looking at the necessary paperwork, talking to your team, residents and family members who may be present at the time. Assisting the inspector and making their job easier is always a very positive move. Inspectors have a tough job themselves, and making their job easier by being organized, efficient and ready is a benefit to all.
To achieve the dizzy heights of being awarded ‘Outstanding’ is very tough indeed, and the CQC has set the bar very high.
We would all agree that it is a tough job to consistently provide high quality care within a safe, caring and compassionate environment, but care standards in the UK are very good indeed. To give your rating the edge, maintaining a high-quality service can be dramatically enhanced by having the right systems in place to help you manage the care provision, and of course the endless amounts of paperwork involved. Our advice would be to explore what technology can provide, and how it can improve your operations on a daily basis, but also impress the inspector that you are 110% in control.
If you are looking for a better LOLER solution, contact us today and we can talk you through our LOLER Asset Register and LOLER testing services.