New joint guidance published by the CQC and stakeholders from across the care sector.
Amongst all the disruption of Covid-19, for some there has been opportunity to pause for breath and reflection.
As you all know, the CQC pressed ‘pause’ on routine inspections in March this year to allow care homes to focus on coping with the strain of the pandemic. Since then, the CQC has met with providers from across the social care sector to agree a set of key principles to help inspectors and providers clarify common misunderstandings, remove barriers to effective working and agree mutual expectations of inspections. You can find a copy of the resulting guidance here.
In a punchy and readable five pages, the guidance sets out clear indications of what should be done by both inspectors and providers to optimise the inspection experience. It highlights the following key themes:
- Everyone is looking to achieve the same outcome; great quality care for people using services.
- Everyone has a role and it should be played professionally; with respect and dignity for all parties.
- Everyone needs to be thoroughly prepared. The inspector needs to understand the service, including pre-inspection analysis of the provider's information; and the provider should help everyone in their service to understand the inspection process and methodologies.
- Inspectors need to keep an open mind, and should always be prepared to see outstanding care. They should make no predictions or indicative ratings until all the evidence has been gathered.
- Communication – and then more communication – is crucial.
Clear, open and two way communication is at the heart of this guidance, and should be a focus from the arrival of the inspection team, throughout the course of the inspection and until the inspection report is finalised.
This guidance shows a clear consensus in the sector that every inspection is an opportunity where effective collaboration can lead to real improvements in care. For making the most of that opportunity, this guidance makes essential reading for inspectors and providers alike in advance of any inspection.
If you have any questions or concerns about the inspection process, do get in touch, our specialist team at Mills & Reeve is here to help.