When a care home receives a ‘requires improvement’ CQC rating, the cause tends to be deep-rooted in long-running systems, methods and processes that are no longer meeting compliance. This makes improving the rating no easy challenge, but is something that our expert care consultants help care homes achieve as part of our service. Here’s one such case of how we helped a care home client go from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.
What issue did the care home have?
When our professional care consultants were contacted, it was found that the care home had longstanding regulatory issues, resulting in an embargo in place against them. This impacted the level of care they could provide for their current and future residents – as well as work on improving their own processes. There were no governance systems in place and a lack of leadership. Staffing was erratic with a high turnover of personnel and was reducing the effectiveness of person-centred care plans and risk assessments.
Crucially, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had noted a breach of Regulation 12, which requires ‘Safe care and treatment’ and Regulation 17, which demands ‘good governance’ from care homes. Overall, the CQC had rated the care home as ‘requiring improvement’, with it rated inadequate in the ‘well led’ Key Line of Enquiry.
These problems resulted in the care home having a fractious relationship with local authorities and ultimately hurt its recruitment and commercials.
How did Fulcrum Care help?
Our first action was to conduct a full audit to establish what the care home was doing positively, as well as where it needed improvement. This revealed which areas needed the most attention, equipped with a watertight and detailed action plan.
Experienced Fulcrum consultants also joined the care service as a member of its team, to establish strong leadership roles and enact staff training, recruitment and mentoring. This helped to immediately improve the level of care that residents were receiving, the recruitment of a new care home manager and a sustainable programme of skills and knowledge for the care workforce.
As the CQC had noted that the care home’s governance required improvement, our social care experts tackled this straight away, implementing a robust system to start to get the home’s governance under control and give the regulator confidence. We also completed template care plans, risk assessments and trained staff on how to use the new assessments, to ensure that person-centred care was able to continue long after we’d left.
What were the results for the care home?
Due to the governance systems we put in place at the care home, our consultants were able to quickly identify the sticking points and start to improve them. The care home is now equipped with a robust improvement plan and has since gone from strength to strength.
We also placed a strong emphasis on rebuilding the care home’s relationships with its community and local authorities to help reduce any concerns, as well as communicating with the CQC to reassure them that necessary improvements were underway.
At the care home’s next inspection, the embargo was lifted and the CQC reported that Regulations 12 and 17 were no longer in breach. In addition, the CQC improved the home’s rating to ‘good’ — including the areas that were previously rated as ‘inadequate’. The care home manager that we recruited has now also applied to be the registered manager, highlighting a more stable and lasting quality of care at the care home.
If your care home needs help from a team of dedicated care experts, please get in touch.