The CQC has been consulting on changes to the way they are going to inspect and regulate. The changes are set to start rolling out from 1st October 2014, when the Government will introduce a new set of regulations to replace existing registration requirements.They will apply to most services.
Under their “Fresh Start” proposals, there will be a single operating model for regulation across all the sectors covered by the CQC which will be applied in a way that will reflect the differences between health and social care. The proposals will alter what the CQC looks at when carrying out inspections. Five main questions will be asked of all services they will be inspecting and fundamental standards will be developed to focus on these five areas which are:
Other changes that will apply to every area include registration, intelligent monitoring (information they will gather and analyse to inform their regulatory work) and ratings.
CQC inspectors will specialise in particular areas of care and will lead inspection teams including clinical and other experts and “experts by experience” (people with experience of care). They will have a more systematic use of people’s experience and views, including complaints and the results of the “friends and family test.”
Ratings will be awarded on a four point scale and be published in the CQC reports and on their website. These ratings will be:
Frequency of inspection will no longer be an annual event but will be based on ratings. Poorer services will be inspected more frequently and good and outstanding services less often. If a service is inadequate a further inspection will take place within 6 months of the first inspection. If the service is outstanding the next inspection will only take place within 2 years but there will be a number of random inspections at any time on good and outstanding providers. Inspections will still be unannounced and will also be carried out in response to issues and concerns.
The CQC is required by law to monitor the operation of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and to report on what they find. This applies to care homes, hospices and hospitals. CQC inspectors will report on whether care homes are meeting the requirements of the safeguards. CQC will also inspect and report on how well the service is meeting the approach required by the Code of Practice to the Mental Capacity Act to assess whether people have the mental capacity to take particular decisions and when staff take decisions on people’s behalf.
Guidance will be more specific than before on the expectations of the workforce requirements. They may include more specific detail on the process of induction and variety of ways in which people can learn and be developed in order to be able to demonstrate they are competent in that they are able to do the work required of them and understand the importance and purpose of that work.
It is also proposed that both mystery shoppers and hidden cameras might be used where there are concerns about care or a risk of abuse.
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