Ultimate Guide to how the Care Quality Commission Works

Ultimate Guide to how the Care Quality Commission Works - Health & Social Care Regulators in England.

Here at The Mandatory Training Group, we receive many enquiries from healthcare and social care providers regarding the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In this comprehensive guide, we will answer a lot of questions relating to what CQC do and how they work.

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of CQC compliant statutory and mandatory training courses. Contact our Support Team on 024 7610 0090 or via Email to find out more about our e-learning courses. 

Who is CQC and what do they do?

So, who is CQC and what do they do? The Care Quality Commission is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom. It was established in 2009 to regulate and inspect health and social care services in England.

The Care Quality Commission's regulatory role

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. They make sure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

The purpose of the CQC is to make sure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and encourage care services to improve. The role of the Care Quality Commission includes:

  • Registering care providers
  • Monitoring, inspecting and rating care services
  • Taking appropriate actions to protect patients and service users
  • Using their independent voice to publish service user views on major quality issues in health and social care

Throughout their work the CQC:

  • Protect the rights of vulnerable people, including those restricted under the Mental Health Act.
  • Listening to and acting on service user experiences
  • Involving the public and people who receive care
  • Working with other organisations and public groups

Values of the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission values are:

  • Excellence – being a high-performing organisation
  • Caring – treating everyone with dignity and respect
  • Integrity – doing the right thing
  • Teamwork – learning from each other and encouraging best actions

What do the CQC do and how they do it?

The Care Quality Commission is an independent body that regulates health and adult social care in England. They make sure that health and social care services provided to people are safe, effective, compassionate. They encourage high-quality care and improvement of care services. Also, the CQC also registers health and adult social care services that meet the ‘fundamental standards’ of quality and safety.

Before a care provider can carry out any of the activities that are regulated, they must register with the CQC and satisfy that they will be able to meet some legal requirements, including the fundamental standards of care. 

CQC regulated services include the treatment, care and support provided by hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, ambulance services, care homes and home-care agencies.

Care Quality Commission Fundamental Standards

The Care Quality Commission standards are:

  • You have a right to expect the following fundamental standards.
  • You must have enough to eat and drink to keep you in good health while you receive care and treatment.
  • You must have care or treatment that is tailored to you and meets your needs and preferences.
  • You must be treated with dignity and respect at all times while you’re receiving care and treatment.
  • The place where you receive care and treatment and the equipment used in it must be clean, suitable and looked after properly.
  • You (or anybody legally acting on your behalf) must give your consent before any care or treatment is given to you.
  • You must not be given unsafe care or treatment or be put at risk of harm that could be avoided.
  • You must not suffer any form of abuse or improper treatment while receiving care.
  • The provider of your care must have a system to handle and respond to complaints.
  • The provider of your care must have suitably enough qualified, competent and experienced staff to make sure they can meet these standards.
  • If something goes wrong with your care and treatment, the provider of your care must tell you what has happened, provide support and apologise.
  • The provider of your care must have plans that make sure they can meet these standards.
  • The provider of your care must display their CQC rating in a place where you can see it.
  • The provider of your care must only employ people who can provide care and treatment appropriate to their role.

Monitoring and inspection of health and social care services

The Care Quality Commission monitors and inspects facilities to see whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Once a service has registered with the CQC, they are monitored continuously. The information gathered, which includes the views of the public, helps the CQC to decide when, where and what to inspect. 

Why are CQC inspections required?

Inspections give the CQC opportunities to talk to the health and social care staff and people who use the service. They also allow the CQC to observe care and to check the systems and processes that the service uses. The CQC may also look at people’s records to see how their needs are managed, following strict rules about protecting their information.

Five key questions asked by the CQC

There are five questions that CQC asks of all care services (commonly known as the CQC key lines of enquiry (KLOEs)). They are at the heart of the CQC regulatory framework, and they help them to make sure that they focus on the things that matter to patients and service users. The CQC ask the following ‘key questions’ of each service.

  • Is it safe? Are you protected from abuse and avoidable harm?
  • Is it effective? Does your care, treatment and support achieve good results and help you maintain your quality of life, and is it based on the best available evidence?
  • Is it caring? Do staff involve you and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect?
  • Is it responsive? Are services organised so that they can meet your needs?
  • Is it well-led? Does the leadership of the organisation make sure that it’s providing high-quality care that’s based around your needs? And does it encourage learning and innovation and promote an open and fair culture?

The CQC's role in protecting vulnerable people

The CQC protects the rights of people made vulnerable by their circumstances, including those whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

The Care Quality Commission is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA), and their findings guide ratings of these services. 

The CQC visits people whose rights are restricted by the MHA, and act on any matters of concern. They also provide a service to safeguard (protect) patients and other service users who refuse their treatment or are considered to be unable to give their consent.

Listening and acting on people's experiences

The Care Quality Commission listens to and acts on service user experiences. Information about patient experience of care is an essential part of what the CQC do. It helps the CQC to make sure that health and social care services in England provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care. It also helps the CQC prevent poor care and abuse happening in the future. 

The CQC do not make complaints or take them up on behalf of service users. This is because they do not have powers to investigate or resolve them. The only exception to this is for people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

Involving and working in partnership with all stakeholders

The CQC involves the public and people who receive care in their work and work in partnership with other organisations and local groups.

They involve people who use health and social care services in all areas of their work, including inspections. Some of the organisations who work with the CQC include Healthwatch England, NHS Improvement, NHS England and Ofsted.

Publishing inspection reports and ratings

The CQC publishes information about the quality of individual services, including reports and ratings, to help people choose their care.

After each inspection, the CQC produces a report and publish it on their website. The reports set out what their findings on each of the five key questions mean for the people who use the service. They also describe the good practice, as well as any concerns identified during the inspection.

In most cases, the Care Quality Commission reports include ratings to help people understand how good each local service is. The CQC ratings are:

  • Outstanding
  • Good
  • Requires improvement
  • Inadequate 

CQC gives the service an overall rating which it must display to the public. They also give a rating for each of our five key questions (key lines of enquiry).

CQC's regulatory role to act on failures

The Care Quality Commission has a responsibility to act if care services are failing to meet the fundamental standards. If they find that care has fallen short of the fundamental standards, they use their powers to:

  • protect you from harm and make sure you receive care that meets the standards because you have a right to expect and
  • make sure services improve.

Taking appropriate action to ensure patient safety

The actions taken by the CQC depend on how serious the problems that have been identified are and how they affect the people who use the service. The CQC may do the following:

  • Giving care providers notices setting out what improvements they must make and by when
  • Holding the care provider to account by:
    • issuing simple cautions;
    • issuing fines;
    • prosecuting cases where people are harmed or placed in danger of harm.
    • Limiting what the care provider may do for a set time.
    • Placing a care provider in ‘special measures’, which gives them a clear timetable within which they must improve the quality of care they provide or CQC takes further action (for example, cancel their registration).

Publishing views of the quality of health and social care

The Care Quality Commission publishes regional and national views of the quality of health and social care and encourages improvement by highlighting good practice.

As a regulator and inspector, the CQC can provide a unique view on the quality of health and adult social care in England, helping to share learning and encourage improvement across the sectors. They carry out and publish reviews and specific inspection programmes that focus on particular aspects of health and social care, including:

  • the experiences of certain groups of people;
  • how different services work together to care for people; and
  • the quality of particular services, or all services, in an area.

How to contact the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission can the contacted as follows:

Telephone - 03000 616161

Email - enquiries@cqc.org.uk 

Twitter - @CareQualityComm

Write to - Care Quality Commission, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA

Further information about the Care Quality Commission on their website: www.cqc.org.uk 

About The Mandatory Training Group

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of online and classroom training courses that help care providers to meet the CQC compliance requirements. These courses include statutory and mandatory training, health and social care awareness courses and qualifications. 

Our courses were developed for CQC regulated organisations including NHS Trusts, GP and dental practices, locum agencies and private organisations across the UK.  These statutory and mandatory training courses include the following core modules:

  • Equality and Diversity
  • Health and Safety at Work
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
  • Information Governance/Data Security Awareness/GDPR
  • Fire Safety Awareness
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Food Hygiene/Food Safety Awareness
  • Manual Handling/Moving and Handling
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults at Risk
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Conflict Management/Conflict Resolution
  • Lone Working

We also provide CQC compliance packages for all CQC regulated care providers. Click on the links below to see our popular statutory and mandatory training packages:

Online Training for Health & Social Care Providers

eLearning Courses for Health and Social Care 

Classroom Mandatory Training Courses for Health & Social Care 

Contact our Support Team on 024 7610 0090 or via Email to find out more about our e-learning courses. 

The Ultimate Guide to how the Care Quality Commission Works.

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