Archive

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

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

Help with CQC fit person interview

February 12, 2011 85 comments

Had another interview with CQC today (28th June 2013) and wanted to share with you the questions that were asked of me to help you prepare for yours. My interviewer made me feel relaxed and at ease. So before you begin your interview, just try to regulate your breathing to help you relax. Remember to bring with you the documents that are requested on your interview email/letter.
Not much has changed in the line of questions but I have kept my previous questions on here just in case they do come up to assist you.

Q. What are the principles of care that you provide to the residents that you care for?

Dignity, respect, maintaining personhood and ensuring that the residents recieve individualised care.

Q. Can you talk me through your recruitment process? What checks would you expect to do?

Shortlist applicants, look at experience and relevant training. At interview you can form an opinion as to whether you think they are suitable for the job. Checks that would be undertaken are the DBS checks, identity checks, two references and whether or not they are permitted to work in the UK.

Q. What are you required to report to the CQC?

(Please refer to your statutory notifications). I mentioned the following, any incident reported to the police, allegations of abuse, application and outcome for DOLs, any event that stops the service running smoothly, serious injury, notification of death, if manager is going to be absent from the service for more than 28 days, if manager will no longer be managing service.

Q. How do you ensure that your staff are providing adequate care?
Provision of training, individual and group supervision, direct observation and staff, resident meetings.

Q. What quality measures do you have in place?
Monthly quality audits carried out, resident and staff surveys which include finding out information from other stakeholders, review meetings, key performance indicators. As I have a large home I mentioned that I do daily walk abouts, staff and residents meetings.

Q. What would you do if you had alleged abuse?
Inform police, CQC, notify safeguarding authority, social services, suspend staff if allegation is against member of staff. Follow directives of lead investigating authority.

Q. How do you ensure that information is kept secure?
Information governance is extremely important. We ensure that information is kept secure and that only authorised individuals can look at it. Where a person lacks capacity or is unable to give consent that next of kin and relatives/friends who have power of attorney are made aware of information governance and data protection. Follow procedure of the organisation.

Portion of blog from 2011

So here are my thoughts and rants to help those of you who are embarking on the role of the Registered Manager.

I think that if you have been a care home manager before, you will have the knowledge and experience to carry you through the interview.

Below is just a rough guide of the questions that we tackled and my answers to them to help you.

Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your home?

(I gave the inspector a brief run down of the home and the staff ratios etc.)

Q. You have been managing the home now for several months, can you tell me what changes you have made and how this has affected the home?

(I gave the inspector an outline of the changes that I had made for example: major changes to the staff units which at first was not well received although it was for the benefit of the home as a whole. There were staff who had resigned or were about to resign at the time that I had started and therefore I had to look at the staff compliment and staff skills and competencies in order to provide a good skill mix amongst the staff. I talked about how this affected the residents and the relatives).

We somehow got onto the topic of abuse (I do tend to waffle) but this answered a set of questions without her having to ask me them.

Q. Can you talk me through the process of how you report abuse?

In the case of alleged abuse, I would notify the local safeguarding authority, the individual’s social worker, the police if necessary, and also inform CQC through the statutory notification which is Regulation 18.

We also talked about person centred planning, deprivation of liberty and best interest. I gave an example of an individual at my home where best interest is used as we were depriving that individual of the right to go out by himself as he had no road safety awareness. Though he was able to access the community when supervised. (Again, although not asked the question, this tackled the topic around mental capacity).

Q. Can you talk me through a learning experience that you have encountered at your home?

I gave her an example of a meeting that I had with all my direct reports and one staff member had made another staff member very upset. On reflection I could have tackled the situation in a different manner but this was a learning curve for me.

I also discussed with the inspector issues around medication and how I ensure that medication is administered safely.

I referred to the medication policy and procedures and the fact that we do monthly audits on the medication to pick up any anomalies. If there are any, an action plan is put into place to ensure that the anomaly is rectified. I also ensure that staff are trained on the safe handling of medication, checking of medicines is carried out by two members of staff.

Q. How do you ensure that residents views are taken into account?

By holding regular resident meetings, ensuring that the complaints procedure is robust and adhered to. By putting an action plan together if the complaint is substantiated in order to ensure that the issue or complaint has been rectified or met. Holding manager surgeries which I have on a Thursday afternoon although I do walk around the building and get to talk to the residents and relatives to ensure that they are satisfied with the care that is being provided. We are also recruiting for a resident and relative representative within the home whereby relatives or residents can go to the specific person to discuss their concern should they feel that they are unable to talk to a member of the staff team. Lastly resident surveys on their home, actives that are being provided, food and quality of care. It’s not just about the collection of the surveys but what you do with that information. Hence an action plan would be formulated to carry out the expressed opinions of the residents as far as reasonably practicable.

The inspector did say that she would be recommending me for registration which made me smile from ear to ear.

I dare say that the above is exhaustive but hopefully it will give you a heads up on the process of the CQC fit persons interview.

Bringing faith to work

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

If you saw a man about to jump 100 feet to his death, would you stand by and let him jump or would you try to stop him?

I read somewhere yesterday that if we do not share to someone the things that they have done wrong then their blood would be on our hands yet if we shared to them and they did not listen then we would be blameless.

I could not have it upon me not to share about the love of God and be a bystander of seeing someone go to hell. Hell is real to me and the bible tells us that everyone who does not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour will not be a part of Heaven. There are only two places to go to after death and that is Heaven or hell. Hell does not become me or anyone else.

How do I approach it at work? As always I would ask permission. If the person is willing to hear then I would share about God and His love. If not then I have done what was required of me and pray that someone might have been able to achieve what I could not. The boundary between professionalism and who we really are out of work is a fine line but I consider my pulpit my work place. Not everyone is called to be a pastor or a pulpit minister but everyone has an opportunity to minister in their workplace where ever that might be. Could you be sharing to someone whose days are soon numbered?

It’s not a crime to work for someone else after having your own business

June 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I made a major decision to go back to working for someone else after 10 years of being self-employed/having my own business. I always thought that being my own boss was the perfect lifestyle as I could balance work and personal life freely.

I have a care home which specialises in people with learning disabilities as well as an immigration business. Both do very well and I put my hand on my heart to say that the people I work with at both the care home and immigration side are amongst the best staff I have worked with. If it wasn’t for them (and of course the Lord) I don’t know if I would have a business to run now.

Circumstances change and I took a risk at the beginning of the year to start another supported living project which hasn’t yet got off the ground and my profits are being spent on the up keep of this project. Hence one of my decisions to take a step back and reconsider my options.

Another reason was that I had way to much time on my hands and whilst I love spending time with my kids, I found that my time wasn’t constructive or productive from a work level and the care home has a brilliant manager running it so I have little to do there.

After talking it through with my husband, I made a decision to go back to working for another employer whilst still having the other businesses. I felt guilty at first for doing it as I was a great advocate for self employment but people shouldn’t have to feel guilty for going back to work for others.  After being answerable for my own actions for so long, it will be an exiting challenge to go back and have accountability to someone else.

Mobile phones – business contract vs residential contract

April 28, 2010 1 comment

One of the biggest mistakes that I have made with my mobile phone contract was to go on a regular consumer contract.

I first took out a business contract in 2003 and always had one until 2008 where I took out a regular individual contract.  A mistake which I  regret profusely.  I decided to go for the latter thinking that I could get a better deal but boy was I wrong.  I would advise  people who have businesses, including sole traders,  to search around for a good business contract and NEVER go for a regular individual mobile contract.

I was paying around £65 a month for 1000 minutes (which I sometimes went over), unlimited texts with Blackberry service.  When something went wrong with my phone, I never got a like for like replacement which meant that I would have a bog standard phone whilst my phone got fixed and consequently I was missing important emails when I was on the move.

I’m now thankfully back on a business contract and paying £32.50 +VAT with 2500 minutes, unlimited texts, Blackberry service and unlimited data/internet usage and a free GPS application.

One other tip is don’t approach the networks directly, I found that I got a better deal with mobile business specialists who get various offers from the networks.

This has been an expensive lesson for me to learn and I hope that you never have to go through it.

Categories: Business Tags: , ,