CQC Focused Inspections

Care Quality Commission (CQC) on-site visits play a big part in the final result of your care home rating. Visits will either be scheduled or responsive.

Types of CQC inspections

Four different types of inspections carried out by the CQC:

  • Comprehensive inspections
  • Focused inspections
  • Targeted inspections
  • Combined inspections

Focused Inspections – What are they?

Whilst comprehensive inspections are regular in-depth inspections of a care home, focused inspections look at a particular area or areas that have been flagged up to the CQC. This is either a matter that was raised at a previous inspection or something that has come to the attention of the CQC due to a change in circumstances, for example a change of ownership.

Focused Inspections – What is the CQC looking for?

A comprehensive inspection always answers five key questions about your care home to determine if it is fulfilling its duties, namely:

Is the care home….

1) Safe?

2) Effective?

3) Caring?

4) Responsive to people’s needs?

5) Well-led?

The focused inspection is likely to concentrate on one or some of these inspection areas. https://www.cqc.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-do-our-job/five-key-questions-we-ask.

Focused inspections – What is the process?

Focused inspections are smaller in scale than comprehensive inspections, however, they do follow a similar pattern. Visits are unannounced and can affect your care home’s rating.

Inspectors will speak to your staff and residents as well as consider care plans and health records. The inspection will be structured around the reason or key question that triggered the inspection. This means inspectors will be looking at things such as the evidence to hand, the risks involved, available resources and timings.

Focused inspections – What is the outcome?

You will receive feedback and possibly a new rating from the CQC following a focused inspection. It is important to use the feedback as a tool for immediate improvement and to have a plan in place to rectify any areas of concern.

Focused inspections – How to prepare?

Focused inspections are always unannounced and you should have a good understanding of the KLOEs. This will ensure that you are in a position to see which areas are in need of improvement. Getting an external auditor to do a mock inspection can assist in highlighting areas that need improvement.

It is also important for you as a care home owner or provider to be clear about what the procedures are. Aside from this you should also ensure that the inspection will focus on and what documentation needs to be made available. Consequently, you will always have this readily to hand in the event of an unannounced visit.

Additionally, make sure that your employees are aware of these unannounced inspections so that they are able to give the inspectors clear and honest information about the care they are providing to the residents.

Being proactive in the management of your care home and identifying any issues ahead of any CQC inspection is the best way to ensure compliance.

Whatever the nature of your query, please get in touch for an initial discussion on finding the right solution for you and your care home.

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