Your CQC rating is the outcome of an inspection from at least one CQC inspector. As with any occupation, each inspector will have their own caseload and requirements to complete a specific number of inspections and reports. Inspectors can be brand new in post or have long-term experience, but either way, you want to make it easy for them to see that the service you provide is outstanding or good.
The best way to do this is to be ready with evidence, either pre-prepared reports or easily accessible data for interrogation and reporting whilst inspectors are with you. It is not enough that you, your staff, clients, and family say that your service is excellent.
You need to be able to demonstrate that your service is:
Providing a technology infrastructure
We all know that an effective technology infrastructure can save time and money, and that we all have to have some technology. For most of us, there is a minimum of mandatory digital taxation for the company.
It may seem daunting putting a technology infrastructure into place if you are a new business or if you currently have a paper-based or spreadsheet and Word system. However, having an effective system will save time, money and particularly stress in the long term.
Before your inspection
Before your inspection, the CQC contacts:
- A community professional
- Your local county council
- Service users
- Family members
- Staff at all levels
They will review:
- Care records of at least two people who received support from the service
- Service records including:
- staff recruitment
- training records
- policies and procedures
- complaints and compliments
- records and audits of quality and safety
Good technology embedded into your working practices means that you can feel confident and reassured that you have compliant and effective systems and records.
- Your care records will demonstrate person-centred care, with shared decision-making and correct processes for mental capacity, medication management and data security. Care records and risk assessments that integrate with rostering and staff training records further enhance this confidence, as it becomes much easier to roster a regular team of appropriately trained staff.
- Staff recruitment, linked to staff training and supervision records means, that you have everything easily to hand and that you have the right staff caring for the right individuals. Link this to GPS and check-in systems, and you can even demonstrate in an objective manner that staff are with clients on time, for an appropriate amount of time, and that they have acknowledged and completed required actions for each client.
- A single place for policies and procedures, with an automatic notification to staff sent to their SMART device when updates are made, completes the package of competent and reliable service delivery.
- Complaints and compliments and records and audits of quality and safety give historic information as to the overall responsiveness and running of the business.
Your inspector(s) is only human. If they can get all the information they ask for easily and promptly before their visit, this is the first step to demonstrating that you have an outstanding service.
Furthermore, having this infrastructure in place should also reassure all those you interact with that you have a service that is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.
You have enough to worry about with staff sickness, absences, holiday cover, staff arriving at clients’ homes finding them unwell – you don’t want any drama with your admin.