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CQC inspection – Help!

July 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Every manager’s heart must start to pump harder when they notice that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have arrived on the care home’s doorsteps.
Just this May (2011), my heart certainly did pump that little bit harder. I can remember making mental notes and wondering “Have I done that?” “I didn’t do that”, “I should have done that”. I think every manager goes through the motions of questions, queries, double checking and even triple checking but then when they mean an unannounced visit, it really is unannounced.
I have to say, having received my CQC report early this month, I am quite pleased to announce that I was fully compliant and got no action plans * yay * (I manage a 70+ bedded home). You might be wondering..”Well, how did she manage that?”
I can’t tell you that my home is perfect because in reality no home is. What I can do is share my experiences in running a home in order that you can achieve a good inspection. As always my rants are definitely not exhaustive – use them as you see fit 🙂

• When you spot something that needs correcting – write an action plan and work through it.

Inspectors know that things are not always going to be hunky dory. They will want to find out what you are doing to work through a problematic patch. I must admit for myself, I have action plans coming through left, right and centre but showing this to the inspector shows that you have a systematic approach to problem solving and that you are working to timescales which are measurable and realistic. Most of all you are showing them you are trying your best to solve the problem.

Work through your Provider Compliance Assessments and create an evidence based folder (you may end up with two or three)
Having completed my Level 4 leadership and management qualification last year, I applied the same principle of creating an evidence based folder for the PCA’s. I use it as a working folder and update it when the need arises. i.e. up-to-date training statistics, staff and resident meetings etc. It helps to have everything in one place rather than going off in an inspection trying to find all the documents that you need.

• Get your staff to work with you
I am in no way an autocratic leader and in some respects, one might even call me “soft”. However, I have learnt through my eleven years of management that working with the staff gets things done. Sometimes it might be slower that you would like but more ‘heads are better than one’.

• Prioritise
Planning never ever goes to plan. I can’t tell you how many times I have planned a day only to be disappointed that everything in my planner wasn’t achieved for that day. Simply because of other things that cropped up which took priority over what I had planned.

I particularly like Steven Covey’s quadrant urgent/important quadrant. In a nut shell, you simply put the issues that you are tackling in the relevant box which helps you prioritise.

To find out more about this topic, go to practice this

• Have minuted daily flash meetings
Running a large care home is no easy task but in order to know what goes on, on a daily basis, I have flash meetings with dept heads and RGN’s. This keeps me in the know and allows me to support, supervise and direct staff to the most appropriate action