The CQC’s new single assessment framework is coming. This should not come as a surprise to health and social care providers as the regulator has been sharing regular updates about this for some time now and has been rolling it out in some test areas.
As ever, providers need to ensure they stay abreast of the changes and are prepared to demonstrate how they meet the requirements of the new framework.
What do the changes mean for me?
The single assessment framework retains the five key questions, is the service:
As well as the well-established rating system:
• Requires improvement.
What is changing are that the key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) are being replaced with quality statements, see our blog, https://www.bettal.co.uk/6-effective-ways-to-engage-with-the-cqc-quality-statements. Alongside this the CQC are introducing what they say will be a more consistent and structured approach to collecting evidence:
• People’s experiences.
• Feedback from staff and leaders.
• Observations of care.
• Feedback from partners.
• Outcomes of care.
Unlike the current regime which is primarily based on physical inspection of the service, the new approach is based on a rolling cycle of assessment with ongoing collection of evidence and intelligence. This means providers need to always be on their metal.
It is worth remembering that the regulations which underpin the work of the CQC are not changing. What is changing is the ways in which the CQC is seeking evidence and how they have clarified what is expected of providers. Providers need not therefore relearn their understanding of care provision, rather they need to realign their understanding of the inspection regime and the CQC’s priorities.
What do I need to do?
As a care provider you need to understand the new approach and work with your team to ensure they do too.
1. Share the quality statements with your team. Make sure they understand them and what they mean for your service.
2. Audit your compliance with the quality statements and start to address any areas of shortfall. Bettal have developed a tool to help with this and to map your evidence to the quality statements.
3. Get your evidence up to date and keep it that way. With constant monitoring, the CQC may ask for evidence at any time. Remember it is not enough to provide good care, providers also must evidence that their provision of care is good.
4. Address development through co-production, i.e. involve people with direct experience of care in the review and design of services. This means making services more service user centred.
5. Develop any areas of your team culture which are lacking. There is an emphasis on safety and learning. What are you doing to promote and protect safety and how can you evidence that you learn from compliments, complaints, other feedback and incidents? Be open and honest about feedback, and what you have done about it, and share it with service users and potential service users.
6. Consider the evidence categories, e.g.:
a. How do you measure people’s experience of your care?
b. How do you collect and respond to feedback from partners?
c. How can you evidence your service is outcome focused?
7. Subscribe to social care websites and monitor what is being said about the new regime and its impact on care providers on social media.
How do I find out more?
The best way to find out more about what the single assessment framework means for your organisation is to join the webinar on Wednesday 2 August, 11am – 12pm. Don’t worry if you miss the update live, it can be replayed on the CQC’s YouTube channel.
You can also read some of our previous, and yet to come, blog posts here at Bettal, where we will keep you up to date with developments.
Care providers need to stay up to date with the changes to regulation or they risk failing their inspection. The best approaches to staying informed include attending CQC webinars and following blog posts by social care commentators, such as those at Bettal.
Being prepared for the single assessment framework requires providers to enact the quality statements and prove they have done so as well as understanding the CQC’s approach to the collection of evidence.
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 the provision of CQC compliant care.
If you would like to know more, browse our website, or get in touch:
Peter Ellis MA MSc BSc(Hons) RN
Bettal Quality Consultancy