Top tips: how to ace regulatory staff inspections

A bit about the speaker…

Pete Sherlock joined Citation in 2014 and oversees our relationships with Care England, Scottish Care and more than 35 other care partnerships. Pete’s knowledge and experience of the industry filters through all levels of Citation, to help care businesses – like yours – get the best possible rating in regulatory inspections.

Watch and learn

Staff play a fundamental role in care services – and any business, for that matter. They’re your most valuable resource and most important asset, so it’s essential you look after them.

To refresh your mind, inspectors will look at five key areas when they inspect and rate your business, and they’re whether your business is: safe, effective, caring, responsive and how well led you are.

Staff are a key element of every one of these inspected areas.

So, let’s dive into our top 10 tips to help you achieve an outstanding rating with regards to staff.

1. Make sure your staff know the people they’re caring for. Do they treat them with dignity and respect? Do they understand their preferences and personal histories? Do staff encourage people to be independent? These are just a few questions you need to ask yourself.

2. Ensure you and your staff are keeping accurate records that reflect the current needs of the people in your care. Ask yourself things like: are the care plans detailed and person-centred? Are daily notes, medication, food and fluid charts up-to-date?

3. Do you have a robust recruitment process in place? Make sure you look out for things like candidates’ right to work in the UK, employment gaps, written references and DBS checks.

4. Make sure all your staff are up-to-date with their training, and receive regular supervisions and appraisals. Do staff 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.

5. 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.

6. Make sure you have accessible, relevant and up-to-date policies and procedures in place, and that staff follow them on matters like safeguarding, whistleblowing and safe restraint. Your policies and procedures should clearly outline what action staff need to take.

7. The culture of your care service should be open and transparent. Find out how you’re doing by asking staff, the people using your service and their families to describe the atmosphere of your care home. Also, ask yourself – and honestly answer – whether staff feel supported to question practice and raise concerns.

8. Don’t forget to reward your staff and make sure they feel valued – things like employee of the month awards or financial reward schemes can help with this. If you don’t already, run staff surveys and act upon the results, and make sure staff receive feedback from managers in a constructive and motivating way.

9. Are your staff aware of your care service’s vision and values? Do you encourage your staff to promote them? If not, think about how you can inspire them to embed your values – this could be included as part of the supervision process.

10. Encourage open communication, and make sure staff who raise concerns – including whistle-blowers – are protected. Ask yourself and honestly answer: do your staff feel supported by managers? Do you think your staff think your service is well-managed? And what feedback would you give about your managers?

How we can help

Here at Citation, our care specialists know exactly what it takes to best prepare your business for regulatory inspections. To find out just how much we can help, get in touch today.

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