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What Do CQC Inspections Entail?

When establishing a health or social care provider, one of the most stressful things you have to deal with is CQC inspections.

The purpose of CQC inspections is to ensure that service-users are cared for in an effective and dignified way, whilst also supporting those offering care.

CQC inspections are almost always unannounced, which can make them even more stressful if you are ill-prepared. However, they are conducted to ensure that your institution is operating in compliance with the law, not to catch people out. The best way to prepare, is to book a mock CQC inspection with our sister company, CQC Compliance Ltd, which will go through the process of the actual inspection, as well as producing you a report and improvements for the real thing.

In the meantime, it is important to understand what CQC inspections entail.

The Start of the Visit

At the start of every CQC inspection, the inspection team usually meets with the senior staff and they explain:

• Who the inspection team are
• The purpose and scope of the inspection
• How they will communicate the findings

Inspections of GP practices, GP out-of-hours services and acute hospitals begin with a presentation by the care provider, giving their own view of their performance.

Gathering Evidence

During these visits, inspectors focus on the experience your patients get and the impact that has on their health and wellbeing. The inspection is mainly based on the five Key Lines of Enquiry which aim to prove whether your service is safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led. To do that, they will speak to patients, staff, family members and members of the patient participation group.

Inspectors will also observe how the staff interacts with the patients to see how well the service responds to the patients’ needs. As most CQC visits are unannounced, you will not be required to provide any paperwork prior to the inspection, but they might ask for it during or after, so always have it ready.

It is important to note that there are two types of inspections:

Comprehensive Inspection

Comprehensive inspections take an in-depth view of the entire service, addressing all of the five Key Lines of Enquiry. The inspection takes a day or two to complete, after which you are given a rating. If the inspectors believe there is a risk to the patients’ safety and wellbeing, that could negatively affect your overall rating.

Focused Inspection

Focused inspections are often conducted as a follow up to a previous visit and are therefore more targeted. Inspectors do not look at all five Key Lines of Enquiry, but rather one well-led key question. That said, they can expand it to a comprehensive inspection if new concerns arise.

The best way to get through any CQC inspection is to make sure that you are well prepared. At HLTH Resourcing and Compliance, with help of our sister company, CQC Compliance Ltd, we can help you conduct a mock CQC inspection to ensure that you are ready for your inspection and any issues are identified and dealt with beforehand. Contact us today for more information.