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What’s Required for a Successful CQC Registration?

There is a lot more to registration with the Care Quality Commission than just filling in some forms, although that is an important part of the process. With CQC registration going exclusively online in March 2024 a lot has changed in terms of what prospective health and social care providers need to prepare for registration and in terms of the actual process.


What has not changed are the values, skills and knowledge potential providers need. Setting up as a care provider is emotionally and physically demanding and no-one should go into it thinking it is an easy way to become their own boss or to make an easy living.


That is why at Bettal we talk to hundreds of people aiming to gain CQC registration each year and provide free support over the phone for new customers.


Of course registration is a necessity for providers of health and social care in the England as providing regulated activities, like personal care, without it is illegal.


What then does a business seeking CQC registration need to do to be successful?

Understand the scope of registration


Many businesses struggle with the registration process because the people setting them up have a limited understanding of what being a social care provider means.


It is worth spending time on the CQC website getting to grips with the requirements for registration and gaining an understanding of the terminology the CQC use to describe its various elements.


Registration is the process by which the CQC judge not only the understanding a potential provider has of the care sector, but also the readiness and ability, fitness, of the potential provider to provide a service which is fully compliant with the regulations by which care in England must be run.


Some of the issues new providers need to understand better are what type of service they are considering registering, e.g. domiciliary care or supported living, the service user bands they will provide care for, e.g. people with physical and/or mental health needs (often termed specialisms) and the age categories they will support, e.g. adults 18-65 and 65+.


Many potential providers fail to understand the nature of regulated activities and how they relate to each other. For example almost all domiciliary care services undertake the regulated activity personal care and that is what they register for, but whilst providers opening a care home also provide personal care they do not need to register for that regulated activity because it is, for example, delivered as part of the regulated activity accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care.


Know the sector


Anyone applying to set up as a care provider also needs experience in the type of care they are planning to provide. It is not at all straightforward starting up a domiciliary care agency if someone’s experience has always been in hospital care as the needs people present with are vastly different- as are many elements of the approach to providing care.


While care experience in any setting is useful, it is experience of winning tenders and gaining contracts with private clients which means that a new provider will be able to generate the business they need to function. This tends to mean having had experience as a deputy manager or care lead is important for successful prospective social care providers.


Compliant policies and procedures


As part of the process of registering any social care business, e.g. a domiciliary care service, people will need to upload a number of domiciliary care CQC compliant policies and procedures to the new registration portal. This is where Bettal comes in as we not only know what these policies are, but we have put them together in registration packs to support would-be registrants.


More important is that the policies meet the care quality commission quality compliance standards and contain the correct information. For example the CQC require that the infection control policy contains information on how providers will assess the risk of infection and prevent, detect and control its spread, https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-regulation/providers/registration/supporting-documents-provider.


More specifically to be a CQC compliant policy and procedure it must state:

• Your systems to manage and monitor the prevention and control of infection.

• How you will assess the risk of infection –consider how susceptible the users of your service are and any risks their environment and other people may pose to them.

• Reference to the code of practice on the prevention and control of infections, issued under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

• The protocols relating to staff vaccination status.

• Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and what will be available.


At Bettal we have mapped their policies and procedures to the various requirements and have identified where the inspector can find each element within each policy or procedure.

Other documents people need include, for the first time, a copy of their Information Commissioner’s Office registration as well as an actual copy of an insurance quote or certification for the business.


Some documents are not needed as part of the initial registration process, but the CQC require registrants to declare that they can supply them on demand as part of the registration process. Such documents, depend on the service type, but for social care providers include a business plan, staff training matrix and quality assurance policy.


CQC Quality Statements


Previously during CQC registration, registrants had to answer questions about how they would meet the requirements of each of the five key questions:

• Safe

• Effective

• Caring

• Responsive

• Well led


Now with the online registration, the requirement is to provide reassurance about each of the 34 quality statements. This attempt to get registrants to identify their approach to care compliance while welcome is extremely onerous and challenging. At Bettal we have created a list of prompts for each of the statements to help providers tailor make their own answers. These prompts are designed to help providers identify what it is the CQC want within each answer.


Summary


Understanding the CQC registration process has always been difficult because of the terminology used. As the process has changed, providers may find they need some support from a consultancy like Bettal who have in excess of 25-years of experience providing not only affordable policies and procedures for social care registration but also of guaranteeing domiciliary care registration for our customers.


Bettal Quality Consultancy has a comprehensive and regularly updated suite of policies, procedures and risk assessments tailored to all forms of social care provision, to support busy registered managers and their teams in registration and the provision of CQC compliant care once they have gained their CQC registration.


If you would like to know more, browse our website, or get in touch:


Telephone: 01697741411

Peter Ellis MA MSc BSc(Hons) RN

Consultant, Bettal Quality Consultancy

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