Preparing for a CQC Inspection: PART ONE

Preparation for an inspection should be ongoing, rather than a one-time event and CQC will expect to see that you have plans and audits in place for your homecare service. Here are some suggestions and links to templates for improvement plans and audits. 

Business Continuity Plan

During inspections, CQC may inquire about your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and whether you have developed and reviewed it regularly. A BCP is a document that identifies critical parts of your business that must not be lost during a disruptive event, such as information, stock, premises, and staff.

The plan should demonstrate how you intend to protect such vital assets in case of an incident. It's important to note that local authorities may require you to complete and maintain a BCP if you provide them with services under contract.

To help you develop an effective BCP, you can refer to resources such as the Care Provider Alliance, How Prepared are You: Business Continuity Management Toolkit (GOV.UK).

You can also download this template Business Continuity Plan from our provider support Facebook Group, Care Begins at Home

Service Improvement Plans

Continuous improvement involves ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of your service or processes, whether through incremental changes or breakthrough improvements. Service providers rated as Outstanding should have a dynamic improvement plan that they can share with CQC, which is regularly reviewed and outlines their goals, strategies for improving care, and evidence of progress.

The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle, also known as the Deming or Shewhart cycle, is a widely used tool for continuous improvement. The four components of the cycle include: identifying opportunities for change, implementing changes on a small scale, analysing data to determine the effectiveness of the changes, and implementing successful changes on a larger scale while continually evaluating outcomes.

In addition to creating improvement plans, it is crucial to provide CQC with evidence demonstrating how these changes have improved the lives of those receiving care.

Download a Service Improvement Plan here

Home Care Services Audits

As per Regulation 17 Good Governance, having effective systems and processes in place, such as conducting regular audits of the service provided, is expected. It's crucial to assess, monitor, and improve the quality and safety of the service.

During inspections, CQC will expect evidence that audits have been carried out, the results have been analysed, and the necessary actions have been taken accordingly. To ensure compliance, create an audit schedule detailing which aspects of the service will be audited, who will conduct the audit, and when. It's important to check if audits are being carried out as per the schedule. Suggested topics to include in the audit of a home care service are:

  • Capacity Tracker Updates
  • Covid 19 Guidance Review
  • Health & Safety office checks
  • Incidents and Accidents/Occurred Risks
  • Missed Calls
  • Safeguarding 
  • Continuity of Care
  • Staff Availability 
  • Coordinator Hours 
  • Infection Control 
  • Medicines 
  • Staff Files 

What documents do I need for a CQC inspection? 

Learn about what policies, procedures and documents you need in place for an inspction in part two of our Preparing for an Inspection Guide. 

If you have any questions about CQC inspections join us in Care Begins at Home, a group created to provide free knowledge and information to care providers and family carers.