Every organization that provides certain types of care is regulated by an external body. Government funding that your organization might receive requires you to be regulated which means its in your best interest to go through voluntary registration rather than wait for a court order to do so. Depending on the level of care you provide, you might need to register with multiple organizations.
It is possible for an organization not to register but the penalties can be extremely severe such as loss of funding and inability to work in the adult care service industry. If these services are provided without any regulation it causes a higher risk level where things could slip through the cracks.
It is crucial that your organization does everything it can to protect those in its care because if any incident occurs you will be held responsible for the actions of those working under you. If services are provided without proper governance and support for staff as well as full accountability from everyone involved, incidents such as abuse might occur.
The inspection system in England is a very complex one which means it can be difficult to understand. There are many different regulations that need to be followed but the main one is what is referred to as the Statutory Framework for Social Care Inspection. All services must adhere to this framework or risk losing funding and being shut down.
The National Care Standards Commission oversees all organizations providing these types of care which means it makes sure they follow the standards outlined in the framework. It also makes sure all staff are fully trained in delivering care to those in need and that they understand their own roles within the organization. The commission is funded by the government so it is vital for both organizations providing social care as well as individuals receiving it that this system is adequate.
All organizations that provide some form of adult social care are subject to two basic types of inspection. The first is referred to as surprise inspections while the other is scheduled inspection. A service must have a full risk assessment carried out by trained professionals who can assess where any risks might be in terms of hygiene, safety, safeguarding, and peoples rights. All staff must follow procedures that adhere to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 for carrying out assessments.
After the assessment is completed, a plan of action should be presented and followed before an official inspection can take place. The first part of this plan is to make sure all residents are fully involved in the process by explaining what is going to happen and why. They should be able to ask any questions that come to mind during the process of conducting an inspection of their service.
Any inspection that takes place is not only defining the level of care being provided, but its also a chance for residents and family members to provide feedback about how they feel things are going at the organization. This feedback is extremely valuable because it allows organizations to learn from their mistakes and improve their services while offering more people the chance to live in the comfortable environment that they deserve.
During the inspection process, a team of professionals evaluates different areas that must be compliant with regulations. These areas include:
The actual care and support services provided to residents; The staffing levels required for delivering this level of care; The management structure in place at your organization; Your policy and procedures for handling complaints from residents and families; And finally, the quality of the governance process in place to oversee these processes.
All of this information is then compiled into a report that outlines everything that was found during the investigation. Although there are many areas reviewed, not all will be provided in detail because some are specific to your organization. The entire inspection process takes about 20 hours which includes time for reviewing paperwork and meeting with management team members and residents.
The reports themselves are not released to the general public since they contain sensitive information about your service, but each inspector is required to provide a summary of their findings at the end of this process. This summary is an overview of what was found and includes details that can help you evaluate how to move forward and improve the level of care being provided.
When all of this information is compiled, a grading system is established to allow the regulator to offer an overall rating for your organization. The guidelines that are set out by the CQC outline at what level your care should be delivered and if you fall below these standards then it should be discussed with management immediately because changes should be made in order to improve your services.
A rating of 0-3 denotes a service that is at the top of its level and can be considered excellent; ratings from 4 to 5 mean its satisfactory, but there are some concerns; while anything between 6 to 9 signifies that an area in need improvement or in serious danger of being rated lower. If you receive a rating of 9, your services will be placed in special measures which means the CQC has serious concerns and further action is required.
Staffing levels and service delivery will always play a major role throughout this entire process. If you find that youre receiving a low grade, its not just because certain areas arent compliant, its also because of the fact that youre not providing all of the necessary resources needed to deliver the level of care that your residents need.
The CQC has a lot of valuable resources available on its website that can help organizations understand how to improve the level of care being provided. This includes information about what needs to be in place during the inspection process, which areas are most important to review, and where policies should originate from.
During an inspection itself, youll have a full guide that clearly outlines how things should be done and what youre going to be expected to provide. This information is extremely useful during the process because it provides clarification regarding your record-keeping system, staffing levels, complaints policy, and more.