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By Debbie le Quesne

New arrangements for CQC inspection intervals

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Care businesses scoring well with the CQC will be inspected half as frequently as they are now under plans to take a more “risk-based” approach.

The new arrangements will come in from October this year.

The commission plans to ditch annual inspections and introduce a system under which services judged ‘outstanding’ under the new performance rating system are generally re-inspected within two years and ‘good’ services revisited within 18 months.

Logically, services judged to be ‘requiring improvement’ will be seen within a year and those rated ‘inadequate’ re-inspected within six months.

The CQC will also carry out responsive inspections where there are concerns and inspect 10 per cent of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ each year to ensure its ratings system remains valid.

The proposals have been published in a new – yet another – CQC paper.

We must do our best to keep abreast of how the inspections are going, as we all know the bar is getting higher. However, currently we have a good relationship with the Commission and it’s something that I wish to explore more.

CQC says its latest reforms would strengthen the regulation of adult care services. The key aspects of the reforms are:

  1. Setting a higher bar for registration, including ensuring that directors of providers meet a “fit and proper persons test” before their services can be registered
  2. The introduction of a four-point ratings system, with all adult care providers rated by 31 March 2016
  3. Focusing assessment on five questions – whether the service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led
  4. Ensuring inspectors specialise in adult social care, rather than cover health services as well, and increasing the numbers of service users and carers involved in inspection teams
  5. Taking tougher action against poorer performers, including being able to prosecute providers for serious care breaches without issuing a warning notice first.

The Commission has stated that it is planning to increase its focus on how well providers are complying with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and, where relevant, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Dols).

I am already aware that some members of West Midlands care Association have been caught out on Dols issues regarding bed rails. Just remember your paper trail and a proper risk assessment needs to be in place, otherwise the devices can be seen as restrictive rather than something for personal safety.

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