The CQC exist to help care providers reach their maximum potential and maintain high standard of care. This is achieved by carrying out yearly inspections to ensure that care homes are compliant with the regulations set by the CQC.
Unfortunately, these days a visit from the CQC is often dreaded by both care homes managers and staff who feel they are under constant scrutiny despite their best efforts. It is true that in recent times, many care homes have come under the ire of the CQC as a growing number of care homes have been found to be providing an inadequate service of care. The constant bad press in the media have further exacerbated the issue, with care home managers often left feeling they are in a no-win situation.
It is common knowledge that the majority of care providers throughout England are struggling to maintain high standards due to annual budget cuts within local councils, which further compounds their efforts to improve. However, it should be noted that lack of funding cannot be used as an excuse to explain poor performance, although it is accepted that it does contribute partly. Those who manage and work in the care home sector have a duty to be compliant with the regulations set by the CQC in order to provide not only residents, but also staff with a safe environment in which to live and work as well as providing high quality care.
The CQC provide an invaluable service in ensuring that these standards are met and maintained. In cases where care homes have been found to need improving, they offer constructive feedback to help bring standards up. It is for this reason that the CQC should be seen as an ally rather than another problem for care providers to deal with.
As a care home manager there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you are prepared for an inspection and do not get caught off-guard. You can allocate dates throughout the year to check that your records are kept up to date and that your employees are also maintaining their records and are aware of policy guidelines.
Another very useful exercise you can do is to arrange a ‘Mock Inspection’. These practice runs help give care homes an idea of what to expect during a real CQC inspection, and help you prepare adequately. Use your inspection as an opportunity to further enhance your service. A ‘Good’ or much coveted ‘Outstanding’ rating can help to boost morale, even in trying times, and will encourage you to maintain excellent standards of care.
Aston Brooke Solicitors can help you arrange a mock inspection to prepare you for the real thing. Our specialist solicitors will guide you through the entire process and advise you on what to expect so that you can organise yourself in time for a visit from the CQC. Please call us on 020 3475 4321 for advice.