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Preparing for the CQC’s New Regulatory Approach: Key Tips to Stay Ahead

The impending arrival of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) new single assessment framework has been widely anticipated. For health and social care providers, this development shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the regulator has been actively sharing updates on this transformative change for a considerable period. To ensure readiness, providers must remain vigilant about these changes and be poised to demonstrate their adherence to the novel framework’s requirements.

Understanding the Scope of Change:

The new single assessment framework maintains its focus on the five quintessential questions for service evaluation:

– Is the service Safe?

– Is it Effective?

– Is it Caring?

– Is it Responsive?

– Is it Well-led?

The familiar rating system, ranging from ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Inadequate,’ remains unchanged. What’s taking a different direction is the shift from Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) to quality statements. The CQC is introducing a structured, consistent method for evidence collection that encompasses:

– Experiences of individuals.

– Feedback from staff and leaders.

– Observations of care.

– Feedback from partners.

– Operational processes.

– Care outcomes.

In contrast to the current practice, predominantly grounded in physical inspections, the new approach employs an ongoing cycle of assessment with continual evidence gathering and intelligence gathering. Consequently, providers need to maintain a heightened state of vigilance.

Consolidating the Foundation:

It’s vital to note that the foundational regulations underpinning the CQC’s work remain unchanged. What’s evolving is the methodology for gathering evidence and the clarification of provider expectations. Providers don’t need to relearn their comprehension of care provision. Instead, they must realign their understanding of the inspection regimen and the CQC’s focal points.

Concrete Steps for Preparation:

As a care provider, the onus lies on comprehending the new approach and ensuring your team is well-versed in it.

1. Disseminate the quality statements to your team, ensuring a clear understanding of their implications for your service.

2. Conduct an audit to gauge compliance with the quality statements and initiate measures to address any areas of deficiency. Utilise tools like those offered by HLTH Group to streamline this process and align your evidence with the quality statements.

3. Keep your evidence up to date, bearing in mind that continuous monitoring means evidence may be required at any point. It’s not only about delivering good care; providers must substantiate that their care provision is of superior quality.

4. Engage in co-production by involving individuals with direct care experience in service review and design, enhancing user-centred services.

5. Cultivate any aspects of your team culture that require enhancement, with an emphasis on safety and learning. Showcase how you learn from feedback, incidents, and take action to promote safety.

6. Delve into evidence categories, examining how you measure people’s care experiences, collect and respond to partner feedback, and substantiate an outcome-focused service.

7. Keep abreast of discussions surrounding the new regime’s impact on care providers by subscribing to social care websites and monitoring relevant social media channels.

Staying Informed:

Staying informed is pivotal, as providers risk inspection failures without up-to-date awareness of regulatory changes. Active engagement, like attending CQC webinars and participating in single assessment framework training sessions, is advised. Preparedness for the single assessment framework requires translating quality statements into action and substantiating compliance while understanding the CQC’s evidence collection strategy.

As HLTH Group are a trusted provider of Health & Safety, HR, and CQC Compliance solutions we recognise the significance of adapting to these changes, and are perfectly placed to support your organisation.