In a sea of care providers with a CQC rating of Good, achieving an Outstanding rating at your next inspection will set you apart and put you on course for a whole new level of success. Preparation is key and that’s where a mock CQC inspection can make all the difference, enabling you to identify opportunities for improvement, opportunities which when capitalised on can take you from Good to Outstanding.
In this series of blogs, we’ll take a look at how to prepare for a CQC inspection to achieve an Outstanding rating, focusing on the requirements for each of the CQC’s key lines of enquiry (KLOE).
In this blog, we’ll start with the KLOE of safety. The CQC defines ‘safe’ as how well you protect service users from abuse and avoidable harm, specifically addressing:
1. How do systems, processes and practices safeguard people from abuse?
To succeed in this category you need to be able to demonstrate that you have safeguarding measures in place, that they’re monitored, and that your staff are aware of them.
Make sure you present relevant documents as evidence and have a dedicated member of staff responsible for learning and sharing the latest guidelines with the team.
2. How are risks to people assessed and their safety monitored and managed so they are supported to stay safe and their freedom is respected?
The inspector will be taking a close look at your equipment, services, premises management and risk assessments. Make sure your records are up to date, comprehensive, legible and stored securely with the correct access rights.
3. How does the service make sure that there are sufficient numbers of suitable staff to support service users to stay safe and meet their needs?
The CQC wants to know what arrangements you’ve made to ensure staff have the right mix of skills and qualifications to meet service users’ specific needs. Show them your rotas and proof that there is good handover between shifts to ensure continuity of care. You should also be able to show that you’ve done relevant checks, such as DBS, on your staff and locums.
4. How does the provider ensure the proper and safe use of medicines?
As well as defining your role in relation to medicines in all relevant policies, procedures and training, you need to prove that you can get the right medicines to the right people at the right time. Your records should be meticulous and medicine must be stored, transported and disposed of correctly.
5. How well are people protected by the prevention and control of infection?
This doesn’t just relate to how clean your care home is but also covers how well your staff understand their role in infection control, whether they’ve completed relevant food hygiene training and how strictly you’re following national guidelines.
6. Are lessons learned and improvements made when things go wrong?
Finally, the inspector wants to know that lessons are learned if there is an incident and to see how you respond to safety alerts, enquiries, investigations or reviews. Make sure any significant events are recorded properly and discussed in regular meetings.
Identifying any gaps in the above lines of enquiry before the CQC does gives you the chance to improve before the final call is made on your rating. A comprehensive mock CQC inspection will do just this, giving you the chance to exceed CQC expectations and achieve excellence in care.
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