Domiciliary care, or home care as it’s also known, is an excellent solution to providing individuals with health and social care and support from the comfort of their home. It makes for a great alternative to care homes, allowing these individuals to receive the care they need without losing the familiarity of their home, whilst releasing the burden from family members who may struggle to help them on their own.
However, as with any form of care service, in order to operate a domiciliary care service you must legally be regulated to do so, which requires a successful registration with the Care Quality Commission, also known as CQC.
Applying to become a registered member with CQC can be a confusing and lengthy process, which is understandable given the nature of the service you’ll be registering to provide, and one that often involves concise supporting documents. Thankfully, we can help here at Bettal Quality Consultancy.
Keep reading this guide to learn more about what CQC does and why, along with help understanding the domiciliary care registration process, the requirements needed for a successful registration and how we can help you ensure just that.
What is CQC?
CQC is the independent regulating body of health and adult social care in England. As such, they require all health and social care services in the country to provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care, which is ensured through their ongoing monitoring, inspections and regulations. Upon these inspections, each organisation or practice receives a rating from CQC that reflects the quality of their service.
Their main aim as a regulator is to prioritise the safety and protect the rights of vulnerable people who receive care, including those that are restricted under the Mental Health Act 1983.
The Care Quality Commission was legally established as the regulator of all adult health and care services by the Health and Social Care Act 2008, giving them certain powers of enforcement that were not held by any predecessor organisations. However, there are also legal requirements of CQC themselves, with the law setting out the powers they have to regulate services.
There is a set of regulations established by CQC, known as The Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009, that must be followed by all adult health and social care providers alongside the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
Why CQC is Important
Given the nature of health and social care, patient safety and security is of the utmost importance and must be held to the highest regard. Malpractice, discrimination, purposeful or accidental harm and verbal abuse are all elements that care patients should be protected from, as is their right as a patient, so regulations must be comprehensive to ensure that this is the case - which is exactly what CQC sets out to do.
However, on top of patient safety, CQC is also important for businesses and organisations themselves. Not only is it a legal requirement to comply with their regulations, with failure to do so resulting in penalties, but compliance allows you to improve the efficiency and effective quality of the services you provide.
For example, by complying with regulations, you can ensure that your staff are properly trained, that all records are accurate and up-to-date and that effective quality assurance processes are in place, all of which help with overall efficiency and can keep levels of both staff and patient satisfaction high.
Speaking of your staff, just as CQC is important for maintaining patient safety, they are also important for ensuring the safety of your staff. This includes ensuring that you not only have enough staff but have the resources they need to provide high-quality care, which can improve staff morale and reduce turnover.
Furthermore, by having the correct policies, processes and wellbeing support in place for your staff to access, they are able to make any issues known so that these can be recorded and rectified accordingly, which may help in identifying ways for continuous improvement within your organisation as well as keeping your staff safe.
Guaranteed Domiciliary Care Registration: The Requirements
Whilst it’s a requirement to be registered with CQC to offer health and social care services, simply applying is no guarantee that your application will be accepted. Instead, your application will be assessed and CQC must be satisfied with your fitness to provide the service you plan to provide and your compliance with the requirements of the relevant regulations and enactmen
ts in order to grant you registration, else they reserve the right to refuse your application.
It’s also worth checking that you definitely need to register with CQC before starting your application, as you are only required to do so if you carry out one of the 14 activities that they regulate. Whilst it’s likely the case that you do, checking the definition of each of these activities can help you confirm that you are required to register.
These regulated activities include:
● Personal care
● Accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care
● Accommodation for persons who require treatment for substance misuse
● Treatment of disease, disorder or injury
● Assessment or medical treatment for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983
● Surgical procedures
● Diagnostic and screening procedures
● Management of supply of blood and blood-derived products
● Transport services, triage and medical advice provided remotely
● Maternity and midwifery services
● Termination of pregnancies
● Service in slimming clinics
● Nursing care
● Family planning services
It is important to note that if you plan to carry out more than one of these regulated activities, then you must apply to register for each one - it’s not uncommon to register for multiple activities.
When making an application, you will need to provide the following:
● Details about the applicant
● The regulated activities being applied for
● The locations these activities will be provided
● A nominated individual (if applying for registration as an organisation)
● A statement of purpose
Looking in more detail at a nominated individual, this must be someone who is employed as either a director, manager or secretary of your organisation - someone of seniority who has the authority to speak on behalf of the organisation. They must also be in a position that carries responsibility for supervising the management of the regulated activity being practised, meaning they can speak authoritatively on behalf of the organisation about the way in which the regulated activity is being provided.
This individual can be the same person nominated for all or some of the regulated activities you provide, although you can choose to nominate a different individual for each regulated activity. However, there must only be one nominated individual for each and each nominated individual must meet the aforementioned criteria.
Moving on to the statement of purpose, this describes what you do, where you do it and who you do it for. It must include:
● Your aims and objectives
● The services you provide
● The different needs of people who use your service
● Your contact details
● Your service’s legal entity (e.g. sole trader, partnership or organisation)
● The places where your services are provided
● Your registered manager(s) and their information
It’s important that your statement of purpose includes all of this required information, as your application will automatically be rejected if it doesn’t. Similarly, it will be rejected if the information included in your statement of purpose doesn’t match with the information included elsewhere in your application.
On top of this, there are supporting documents that you will need to submit as part of your application. The first is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check that has been countersigned by CQC. The next is your Policies and Procedures, which must comply with current legislation, the latest regulations from CQC and reflect the best practice in the area they cover.
There may be additional documents that you will need to include depending on the type of service you’re registering to provide and whether you are registering as a new provider, new legal entity or buying or transferring a service.
Free Support with CQC Registration
The application process for CQC registration for home care service can be a lengthy one. With the concise and comprehensive nature of all the information and supporting documents required, it can be all too easy to accidentally miss out or forget something important in your application, make a mistake or lack consistency in the information you include. This becomes even harder when it comes to including documents such as policies and procedures, which are a lot to tackle in and of themselves.
Thankfully, we can help here at Bettal Quality Consultancy. Our compliance management system is indisputably valuable for helping small health and social care organisations ensure compliance with all the necessary regulations and requirements before registering with CQC.
As well as access to our Bettal Cared4 CQC Compliant Quality Management System, our registration pack will also provide you with all the documentation and guidance you need for successful CQC registration.
We’ve helped over 150 domiciliary care agencies so far to become successfully registered, and in the highly unlikely event that you’re refused registration because of your Bettal CQC registration-compliant documents, we’ll completely refund your subscription - that’s how confident we are in our service!
To enquire about our services or learn more about how we can help you with your CQC registration, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today.