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How to make a Care quality commission (CQC) inspection a dream

A care quality commission (CQC) Inspection can be something that is quite daunting. However, in reality, if things are being done right, it should be a breeze. The biggest concern for many care environments is that they are often only given 48 hours notice, but, again, if things are being done by the book, this should not be a worry.

A CQC inspection is primarily concerned with 5 key questions about the services offered:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

Helping the inspector get clear answers to these is where making a CQC inspection a dream happens.

Be Prepared

The first step to making a CQC inspection a dream is to be prepared. Understanding what will be focused on and why is vital. If you can understand what the inspector is looking for and know what the standards of passing are then the inspection is all but done. Remember, the top priority of the CQC is to understand the experiences of those in care and the families of those in care have had. Patient wellbeing and overall levels of care are judged against regulatory requirements.  Knowing this and being prepared is half the job.

Know the type of inspection

There are three types of inspection that the CQC can carry out and knowing which is which can help you prepare. There are responsive inspections that are undertaken at any time that will focus on an identified concern. A Themed inspection that will investigate levels of concern that have been raised at a national level. Finally, there is a scheduled inspection that can be carried out at any time. Knowing the type of inspection that is about to take place and their differences helps you plan.

Have information Ready

The real key to a dream CQC inspection is to have all the information an inspection team needs at hand. One of the core focus areas in any inspection is for a caring environment to be able to demonstrate the quality of care given and services offered and how these are monitored. Being able to demonstrate systems and procedures are in place to ensure the 5 key questions are answered in line with regulations is vital. The CQC has a number of tools on its website that can help any organisation in monitoring and controlling levels of care and services.

You need to be able to present a clear overview of the health care environment being inspected. Submitting notices and information on any events throughout the year helps make a CQC inspection run smoothly.  By communicating with the CQC throughout the year, a dream inspection becomes possible.

Making sure your customer and patient feedback systems are up to date and in use is a simple step to consider when an inspection is due. Making information available and accessible to an inspector helps the inspection run smoothly.

The Inspection

If your practice is running well and adhering to regulations, there is nothing to worry about when the inspector arrives. It should be business as usual. Ensuring management are available and setting aside a room for meetings and for the inspector to use is important. To make things run smoothly, the site being inspected should have appointed key personnel to attend to the inspection and assist the inspector, this avoids looking or hunting for people.

Many things will be checked and cross-checked during the inspection, and the inspector should be left to work freely. Ensuring staff are aware that they may be asked questions or be asked to demonstrate a procedure is important and having any records that may be deemed necessary accessible is also vital.

The end of the inspection

With simple planning and clear communication with the inspector, the inspection should be fairly quick. If there are any questions that the care environment wants to ask, there will be ample time, and once the inspection is complete, it is very much just a matter of sitting back and waiting for your final report.

In a nutshell, the CQC website has plenty of tools to help any organisation prepare for a CQC inspection. Likewise, there is also information about the inspection. Using this free information will make your CQC inspection flow like a dream.

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