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How to Evidence ‘Caring’ Service to the CQC

Former CQC Inspector Victoria Carey shares her insight on demonstrating Outstanding service in the ‘Caring’ KLOE.

“The CQC’s ‘Caring’ Key Line of Enquiry is extremely important for service providers – it’s the reason we do what we do! No organisation wants a report that identifies their service as being uncaring.

What does the CQC define as a Caring service?

The CQC define a Caring service one in which “staff involve and treat people with compassion, kindness, dignity, and respect”.

These qualities are crucial to delivering a quality, person-centred service. However, they are not necessarily tangible and measurable, and it’s difficult to evidence how staff make people feel without talking to them. As the CQC inspection model now moves towards remote monitoring the opportunity for inspectors to carry out direct observation has been reduced.

Altogether, this means you must have documentation and records to hand that can provide the CQC with evidence of a service that is Caring- you cannot simply rely on their observations and site visits.

When compiling this bank of evidence, think about feedback your service receives from people in receipt of care in order:

  • Thank you cards and compliments
  • Client and relative satisfaction surveys, how are these responded to, and any negative feedback used to improve services
  • Care reviews, is there an opportunity given to clients to feedback if they feel cared for and valued.
  • Are clients involved in the recruitment process? Are they asked to feedback on the performance of new staff?
  • Is there a clients council/residents committee/ patient focus group?

Here are questions to ask yourself:

If you have a named carer or nurse system in place, how are staff and clients matched? Are external observations of practice and peer reviews carried out- how are the findings of these used to make improvements to care?

Is there a culture of open dialogue and respectful challenge, with open channels of communication between staff and leadership teams? Are suggestions made at staff meetings listened to and acted upon?

Is staff training up to date? do staff receive training in equality and diversity, personalised care, and unconscious bias training? What is the visiting policy, and how are family members contacted and supported when their family member is unwell?

Are policies and procedures reviewed regularly and up to date – does the language used within these identify a service is caring?

Gathering your evidence to answer these:

The sensitive and efficient handling of complaints and negative feedback can be used as evidence to support that a service is Caring, particularly if there have been changes to processes.

Minutes from staff meetings are another a great source of evidence, particularly if there is an after meeting note about actions taken, and how these have impacted people in receipt of care and staff.

Another useful piece of evidence to gather is your Registered Manager’s observations of interactions between staff and clients.

As a single hub to store all your documents, using HLTH Manage you can store all this information in one single, easily accessible place. For example, minutes from meetings and interview notes can be added into the system, along with scanned copies of compliments received.

Moreover, HLTH Manage provides you with expert prompts from former CQC National Training Managers and Inspectors, which you can use to guide further evidence you upload. This means you can ensure that you are gathering all the information you need to showcase your Caring service.

Inbuilt systems within HLTH Manage provide weekly updates of evidence that needs reviewing, enabling updates and changes to be made in line with current practice and guidelines for staff to follow. This indicates a service that is both Caring and Well-Led, meaning you can feel confident when the time comes for your CQC assessment- whether this is virtual or other.”