Nov 20

A period of transition – support for upcoming inspector calls

Posted: 2 November 2020

Information Service Manager Rob Hargreaves reflects on how the CQC new Transitional Monitoring Approach helps services to continue to deliver safe, effective and well-led care in changing times.

2020 has been a challenging year and despite all the challenges we’ve faced, the pandemic has resulted in some very practical ways of doing things and new processes being introduced including those relating to CQC inspection.

When the CQC temporarily replaced their inspection process in May 2020 with the Emergency Standards Framework (ESF), there was nervousness from some frontline managers. However, six months on many providers are positively valuing both a lighter touch and increased support from their inspector.

Introducing the CQC Transitional Monitoring Approach
The positive feedback has helped to inform the CQC’s new Transitional Monitoring Approach (TMA). This was introduced October 2020 and is expected to continue for 6 months, although the CQC have hinted they may make further light amends to the process over the coming months.

The CQC will be prioritising services to commence this process, this may include providers who have not yet had a first inspection, services that are well overdue inspections or services deemed as high risk due to other factors.

The good news for providers familiar with the earlier CQC inspection process is that it will still look at Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) but more explicitly on specific parts.  This will primarily look at Safe and Well-led, but the inspector may talk about other areas. Your CQC inspector potentially may look at just over half of the KLOEs covered in a usual inspection visit.  There will also be more involvement of people who need care and support and their families in this process too.

The CQC will summarise their findings and share this with providers, although very few services are likely to be re-rated as a result. Where the CQC inspector determines a visit is required this may follow and only in the event of full inspection would the service be re-rated.

How can Skills for Care help?

Following the launch of a mini resource last month, we have produced a more in-depth information video, self-check and action plan to help you to prepare for when the inspector calls.

The Information video explains more about the Transitional Monitoring Approach, including what the inspectors will be interested in, what evidence they may wish you to share and our recommendations. The complementary Self-check enables you to consider if you would meet what the CQC expects, whilst the Action Plan can help focus your resources is improvements are needed.

These resources are complemented by new bite size TMA versions of our Good and outstanding care guide.

Further help

The CQC continues to highlight the value of connecting with other services and working together to deliver high quality care. For frontline managers, our free to access Registered Manager Networks and associated WhatsApp groups ensure that this is possible at a local level and our Facebook Group supports national connections. Unsurprisingly CQC inspections are a popular topic as managers share experiences and ask questions in preparation for their own.

As we gather our own feedback from the first month of the TMA, we will be looking to provide feedback from frontline managers about how it went and their recommendations for others. 

Infection, Prevention and Control inspections (Care homes only)

The CQC has also started undertaking separate Infection, Prevention and Control inspections aimed at care homes. Combining virtual engagement from the inspector and potentially visits too, these standalone inspections may act as a precursor to the wider TMA process. For managers of care homes, the CQC has published further details of what they will be inspecting, examples of good practice to meet these areas of inspection and related guidance.

 Looking beyond the transition

The TMA will take us up to the beginning of the new CQC strategy and potentially further change to inspection which the regulator intends to consult with providers on in January 2021.

For those who have used our Good and outstanding resources in recent years and wish to contribute to them evolving further, we would love to hear from you.  We’ll be shaping new resources to reflect the CQC new strategy and what happens to inspection next.  If you wish to help shape these resources, please e-mail rob.hargreaves@skillsforcare.org.uk