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Understanding Care Home Audits: Key Procedures to Follow

If there’s one concept that all care homes could benefit from operating by, it’s the notion that there is always room for improvements. Regularly assessing the performance of your care home demonstrates your ability to recognise the importance of compliance with regulatory standards, whilst proactively finding improvements that can be made.

A key area of care legislation that encourages such practices is the performance of care audits. Keep reading to learn more.

What are Care Audits and Why are They Important?

Care audits, also known as clinical audits, are types of quality assurance reviews carried out at care facilities to determine whether care is being provided in line with the necessary regulatory standards. They allow both care providers and patients to see where a specific service is doing well and where there could be improvements, with the overarching aim being to allow such improvements to take place in the areas they are most required, so as to improve all areas of patient care.

Some of the key audits that you could expect to carry out include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Internal quality audits

  • Infection control audits

  • Health and safety standards

  • Mealtime and kitchen audits

There are many reasons why undertaking care audits within your facility is important, including:

  • Improved outcomes for patients

  • Increased safety

  • Better staff development

  • Increased business efficiency

  • Chance to offer more personalised services

  • Maintaining and enhancing your ratings with regulators

The Steps to Conducting an Audit

This should cover all of the areas of planning, delivering and recording care, including the patients, staff (including all registered care providers) and care environment.

Certain areas will only require an annual audit, however if a CQC inspection reveals an issue of non-compliance or lack of safeguarding, then such audits may become prioritised.

Creating a clear schedule of when audits are to be carried out will ensure they are done so consistently and on time.

By giving staff notice of when audits are scheduled, they can prepare the necessary documents and materials that the auditor may need to see. The only time a surprise audit should be conducted is when there is suspected unethical activity.

Auditors should always be prepared with an understanding of a care provider’s policies and procedures, as well as a list of items that are to be reviewed during the audit.

Staff should be asked to explain their work process, so that this can be compared to what’s written in the policies and procedures.

Any differences in practice to what is contained in the policies and procedures should be recorded by the auditor.

Following the completion of an audit, an easy-to-understand report must be written up for the auditor to review with senior management, ultimately leading to the development of an improvement that addresses any compliance gaps found during the audit.

Bettal Quality Consultancy: Assuring Compliance to Quality Statements

Does your care home carry out regular care home audits? Here at Bettal Quality Consultancy, we can help you create an effective internal care audit schedule thanks to our care home quality management system - helping you to proactively remain CQC compliant.

Get in touch with us today to enquire about how our service can benefit your facility or to arrange your free trial.

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