We know that CQC is changing so it may be a good time to reflect on what CQC looked like in the past, (well 12 months ago!), now and what it may look like in the future or at least from Spring 2021. 

The Past 

Up to a year ago, CQC visited registered services and undertook an intensive site visit where they would interview staff and watch the happenings of the organisation.  It was pretty full on!  

When I have undertaken mock CQC inspections, I have often asked Registered Managers what has worked for them as part of these inspections and the usual answer has been that it has shown that they are doing everything that they need to be compliant which always provides reassurance.  When I ask them about what doesn’t work for them, I get the same list – takes too much time and resources which diverts from the day job of providing patient/client care, the data is out of date so doesn’t give an accurate picture and too much stress and anxiety that leadership teams feel when CQC is imminent. 

So, it was met with some relief that CQC inspections were paused for the most in Spring 2020 with the view to changing how inspections were to be undertaken in the future. 

The Current View 

During the pandemic, CQC has pared back its inspection regime because it has had to.  Instead of onsite visits, CQC have been conducting online meetings with providers focusing on how safe a service is, how the organisation is effectively led and how accessible are the services for users. The calls look at risk and focus on specific KLOEs, use technology and local relationships to gain a picture of the service and organisation.  Onsite inspection will only happen if there are concerns. After the call, a Monitoring Summery – not a report – is sent but this is not a rating. 

I have spoken with many organisations who have been through this approach and everyone has said that this has been much better than the old-style inspections.  The conversations have been targeted and more friendly, which can only be a good thing. 

The Future 

CQC have recognized that the ‘old approach’ doesn’t work.  Things have changed dramatically over the last 12 months with the system working taking a priority, prominence of the health inequalities agenda and the introduction of new technology such as E-Consult and mobile communications has made CQC change the way in which it inspects. 

From May 2021 onwards, CQC are going to focus on four areas of inspection: People and Communities, Smarter Regulation, Safety through Learning and Accelerating Improvement. For general practice, the main change is that the 6 population groups will no longer be assessed.  The inspections potentially will move from lengthy onsite visits to shorter but more frequent targeted Teams calls which means that any ratings will be in real time rather than 5 years old. 

So, what does this mean? In simple terms, CQC will be looking at health inequalities within the local communities, equality, diversity and inclusion, your culture as an organisation, how easy it is for staff and service users to speak up about their care and how safe your service is.  Are you ready? 

To find out more about CQC inspections in the future, get in touch with us. 

Kiran Johnson – Director  

E: kiran@dkjsupportservices.co.uk 

T: 01482 643108 

Live Chat: www.dkjsupportservices.co.uk