Health & Safety help ahead of CQC inspections

A bit about the speaker…

Mick Feather is our Care Business Manager, and lives and breathes all things care-related across Citation. Mick joined us after spending four years as a Care Quality Commission Inspector – during this time, he trained-up 600 CQC inspectors, so you can be certain he knows what he’s talking about.

A hand with Health & Safety

Health & Safety is a key element in each of the five key areas CQC inspects – and they’re whether your service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and whether or not you’re well-led.

So, let’s get stuck in with our top 10 tips to support your journey to an ‘outstanding’ Health & Safety rating.

1. Generic risk assessments are not good risk assessments. Make sure yours are detailed and person-centred, and include a variety of topics, like moving and handling, nutrition, hydration and falls. Make sure you’ve risk assessments in place for legionella and any risks to choking, too.

2. Make sure you have relevant, up-to-date and accessible health & safety policies and procedures in place. And don’t just stop there. Make sure all employees fully understand them, especially policies on thing like consent, restraint, recruitment, discipline and grievance, medication and infection control. Check that your policies clearly state what action employees should take, and test the directions you’ve given.

3. Make sure all your employees are up-to-date with their training, and receive regular supervisions and appraisals. Do employees complete an induction which includes shadowing more experienced members of staff?

As a bare minimum, care workers should complete training in Health & Safety areas like moving and handling, safeguarding, fire safety, the Mental Capacity Act and where appropriate medication and food hygiene.

4. Do you have contingency plans in place for unforeseeable events, like fires, floods, gas leaks or lack of water supply? And do employees understand their roles, responsibilities and who to notify in such circumstances?

5. Make sure you thoroughly investigate and document any investigations into employee concerns, safeguarding, accidents and incidents, as well as notifying the CQC when appropriate. Also, take it upon yourself to ensure employees know what to report and to whom, as well as keeping an eye out for any patterns or trends – and acting on them to improve the safety of the people in your care.

6. Can all your employees confidently demonstrate an understanding of medication administration, infection control and pressure area care practices? These are all key issues, and it’s essential employees understand them and put them into practice at all times.

7. Ensure all equipment and services are regularly checked and maintained – this could be anything from an annual boiler check, PAT testing and lifts being serviced, to water temperature checks, annual hoist equipment servicing and fire equipment maintenance.

8. Can you explain how your staffing levels were decided? Do you have a staffing model based on the dependency of the people using your service? Do you have enough staff working at night? These are all questions you need to be able to answer to demonstrate your decision-making process.

9. When conducting audits, make sure you complete them, analyse their results and take the appropriate action. Look out for any emerging patterns or trends, and really think about what the audit is telling you.

10. Fire prevention and protection is a critical part of Health & Safety. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you have a fire risk assessment in place?
  • Are your alarm systems and equipment regularly checked?
  • Do employees know how to use fire extinguishers, fire blankets and evacuation sleds if needed?
  • Do you have person-centred Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) in place for the people you care for?
  • Do you carry out regular evacuations to ensure the measures you have in place work in practice?

We’re the Health & Safety experts

Here at Citation, we’ve a team of industry-leading Health & Safety support experts who know exactly how to keep care businesses – like yours – safe all year round. For more information on how we could start helping you today, just get in touch.

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