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Understanding CQC reports and their significance when choosing a care service

Published on 3rd May 2018

A recent survey of 1,000 people who had chosen a care service for themselves or a loved one revealed that 70% of people found this to be one of life’s most stressful decisions. However, 44% of people found that the latest CQC inspection report was an influencing factor in their decision making process. 

If you’ve never had to find care before then the acronym CQC is not likely to mean anything! Outlined below is all the information you possibly need to know on who the CQC are and how they can be of help when choosing a residential, nursing or home care service.

Who are the CQC? 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is a governing body, responsible for ensuring health and social care services in England comply with fundamental care quality and safety standards. The CQC determine what care should look like and then monitor, inspect and rate care services.

What does the CQC rating mean? 

Care services are given an overall service rating as well as a rating across the following five categories: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

One of the four ratings is given to the service after a CQC inspection has taken place:

  • Outstanding: service performing exceptionally well
  • Good: service is performing well and meeting the CQC’s expectations
  • Requires Improvement: service is not performing as well as it should and information has been given on required improvements
  • Inadequate: service is performing badly and the CQC have taken enforcement action against the provider of the service

How is a care service rated?

CQC inspections are normally carried out over a 2-day period, during which time the CQC Inspector will look to gather evidence about the service.

  • Inspector meets with senior staff at care service
  • Inspector gathers information from staff and service-users
  • Inspector observes delivery of care
  • Inspector reviews records including care plans, documents and policies
  • Inspector visits care sites

The Inspector then uses the evidence they have gathered to compile a full inspection report and to give the service an overall rating as well as an individual rating across the following sub-categories: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. The full inspection report is available to read for all care services on the CQC website.

If a care service is rated Requires Improvement or Inadequate will my loved one be safe?

If a care service is given an overall ‘requires improvement’ rating it is important to look at the rating breakdown. In the above example you will see that despite the care service having an overall ‘requires improvement’ rating the service is ‘good’ when it comes to being responsive and caring. The care service will also be given instructions on what improvements need to be made and a time-frame for making improvements.

If a care service is deemed ‘inadequate’ then they will normally be placed under ‘embargo’ meaning that there will be restrictions on service-user admittance.

What’s the best way for me to find out more about a care service?

‘72% of the 1,000 people surveyed by the CQC found visiting care services to be the most influential factor in their decision making process’

Here at TrustedCare we support 1,000’s of care-seekers a month in their search for residential or nursing care. Our team of specialist Care Adviser’s support care-seekers with information on services in the location they are looking for care. Our Adviser’s always recommend visiting services before coming to any decisions – they liken choosing a care service to buying a house. Despite what looks to be the best care service on paper, the only way you’ll get a sense of whether the home is ‘the one’ is by visiting.

To speak to a Care Adviser for free, help and advice simply ring 01865 680443.

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