CQC reports are one of the best ways to keep track of how safe care services are. But how is the CQC responding to the Covid-19 pandemic? And where should you go to find information you can trust about UK care homes’ safety measures?
Read this article to find out more about the current state of affairs.
What Is the Care Quality Commission’s Role Right Now?
In June 2020, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released an update.
This update was to let the public know about how the CQC are changing their way of work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
CQC inspections and ratings are vital to maintain the quality of care services in England.
The Care Quality Commission’s role is to independently regulate health and adult social care providers.
Their role remains the same pre and post-Covid. Rather, how they execute their role has had to change.
Here are a few of the CQC guidelines at this time:
- Registered service providers must notify the CQC of certain events or incidents, such as allegations of abuse and service user death.
- Individual cases of coronavirus do not require CQC notification.
- Health and social care providers can apply for Covid-19 registration.
- This registration is for providers who intend to offer services with additional health and social care capacity in their area, to limit the impact of the virus.
- No changes have been made to either the Mental Capacity Act (MCS) or the Deprivation of Liberty Standards (DoLS) legislation.
- For roles related to the Covid-19 response, providers will access free DBS checks.
- Checks will be fast-tracked for emergency roles.
- CQC staff are working from home to stop the spread of coronavirus. Dedicated addresses have been set up to receive payments and invoices.
- Residential and nursing homes were asked to complete the NHS Capacity Tracker to understand the impact of coronavirus on care workforces across the country.
Emergency Support Framework
- CQC inspections are, for the most part, on pause. In their place, the CQC has developed a regulation called the Emergency Support Framework.
- The framework involves regular conversations between service providers (such as care homes) and the CQC about safety of care.
We go into more detail below on what’s included in the Emergency Support Framework reports.
Special CQC Reports — A Response to Covid-19
With CQC inspections limited during Covid-19, the care regulators have set up an Emergency Support Framework.
Using this framework, several key types of information will be shared between care providers and the CQC:
- Safe care and treatment
- Staffing arrangements
- Protection from abuse
- Assurance processes, monitoring, and risk management
The purpose of these new Care Quality Commission standards is to monitor risk, identify areas of support needed for providers, and ensure care is as safe as possible.
As reported by Kate Terroni, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care:
“Now more than ever, safety remains a priority for the whole health and care system.”
Terroni went on to say, “the emergency support framework is a tool that helps structure those provider conversations so we can get a clear and complete picture of how coronavirus is affecting services.”
Essentially, the Emergency Support Framework report is an independent assessment.
Care homes must respond to 15 questions from the CQC.
The CQC will use these answers to judge how well care providers can keep their service users and staff safe amid Covid-19.
How to Find Safe Care Homes in the UK
Are you looking to research safe care homes in the UK?
Perhaps you’d like to view the latest CQC reports?
Whilst this is a turbulent time, the good news is that the CQC’s focus is firmly on safety.
Here are the four CQC priorities right now:
- Having honest conversations
- Capturing relevant data
- Sharing this information to prioritise support
- Keeping people safe
You may also want to familiarise yourself with S.A.F.E. (Symptom Assessment for Everyone) as a tool to discover safe UK care homes.
Using this search bar, you can find care homes with the S.A.F.E icon on their profiles.
To display the icon on the Autumna website, care homes must have evidenced through third-party validation, for example their CQC Emergency Support Framework report, that they have appropriate infection control policies and procedures in place.
The core idea here is for care homes to be able to share their protocols and safety measures with the public.
S.A.F.E intends to take the guesswork out of choosing care. Families need information and care homes need a place to validate their actions.
Although having the S.A.F.E. icon does not mean a care home is free of coronavirus, it does mean the home is being transparent about how they aim to control infections.
Then, you’ll need to check the box that says “Infection Control (S.A.F.E.)” in the “Additional Filters” section. See the image below:
Search for safe care homes in the UK.
Click the orange “Search Again” button and the results page will refresh.
This time, care homes that have the S.A.F.E. icon will be shown first.
You’ll be able to see the green S.A.F.E. icon displayed in the centre of their profile.
Please feel free to contact the friendly team at Autumna on 01892 335 330 for advice on finding a safe care home in the UK or how to understand CQC reports
Phone: 01892 335 330