CQC inspections are a stressful time for any care provider. A care home’s rating has a dramatic impact on its commercials, its position in the community and how it’s run. If you’ve got an upcoming CQC inspection, we can help take the pressure off with audits and mock inspections that can help you reach a higher rating. Equally, if you’ve been rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in the past, we can provide confidence that the same rating will be held.
What are care home audits and mock inspections?
Audits of a care home are used to gain a better understanding of what it’s doing well and which areas need attention. The care home manager should be undertaking regular audits but, as they work closely within the existing systems and processes, it can be difficult to take a step back and objectively assess how a care home is performing against the CQC’s criteria.
Eleanor Healthcare Group, an independent provider of a wide range of health and social care services, began working with us to help ensure their homes were maintaining high standards between inspections.
Katie Wordley, Eleanor Health Group’s Operations Manager explains: “Fulcrum Care do our compliance audits. Every six to eight weeks they’ll visit each of our sites and do a mock CQC inspection.
“From a CQC point of view, it’s good to have an external and clinical oversight of the service. We also use Fulcrum’s audits across our care homes to inform our continuous service improvement across all sites.”
Working with clients to improve their CQC rating
We like to work in collaboration with our care homes clients, assisting care home managers in improving any areas that might need it. Our consultants specialise in a broad range of areas within the social care sector, so there is always someone with the expertise necessary to help them reach their goals.
“We have worked with other consultants in the past, but in terms of continuity of inspectors, continuity of reporting and actually picking up issues, Fulcrum are far superior,” Katie continues. “I think the main thing that sets Fulcrum apart is that they work with the team on-site, so the branch manager is the clinical lead and therefore actually able to improve the services and work on the action plan they’re creating.
“Fulcrum won’t just complete an audit and give you the result; they’ll work with the team on-site to improve the service as well.”
“I think it’s always good to get an independent oversight of a care service because, when you’re in it every day, you can either overlook things or accept areas of service delivery that you wouldn’t usually — so it’s good to have an independent set of eyes.”
A ‘critical friend’ to care homes
We work as your ‘critical friend’ to conduct audits, build strong relationships with everyone in your care home, from care management, to staff, to residents, ensuring continuity of service and helping to introduce service improvements.
Getting support between CQC inspections is crucial as, if your rating is lowered, you’ll have that rating for six months to a year. This can have negative results on your commercials in the interim. Equally, if you’re looking to improve your rating, you’ll want to maximise your chances with independent help.
“From a service user perspective,” Katie says, “because we have the same inspectors coming all the time, they’ve built up a relationship with our staff and our families, so they can talk to the inspectors, ask them any questions and signpost advice.”
Watch the full video interview on YouTube
If you need help with care audits, mock inspections, or any other area in running your care home, please get in touch.