3.3 Key areas of enquiry for inspection

Course: NVQ Level 5 Diploma In Leadership & Management for Adult Care

Unit 2: Governance and regulatory processes

LO3: Understand systems and requirements for regulation of adult care services

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3.3 Key areas of enquiry for inspection

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England. Inspectors carry out visits to ensure that providers deliver safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality, and responsive services that people are entitled to expect. CQC inspectors check both these processes and whether they are delivering for people who use or may use a service. With this in mind, the inspection will focus on key areas of enquiry that are likely to be relevant to how well the provider is performing.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) when inspecting regulated services. These KLOEs align with the key questions inspectors will ask to help them determine whether a provider is meeting fundamental standards of quality and safety:

  • Is safe care and treatment being provided?: This includes whether people are safe from abuse and harm and whether the service has effective risk management processes in place
  • Are care and treatment effective?: This includes whether people’s needs are being met and they are receiving appropriate care and treatment
  • Are care and treatment responsive to people’s needs?: This includes whether people’s care and treatment needs are being met in a timely way
  • Is the service caring?: This includes whether people have their rights upheld, they feel supported, are involved in their care, and have access to information about their health or social care
  • Does the provider show leadership and management of services?: This includes the quality and safety of the service, effectiveness of leadership and management, capacity and capability of staff

The inspection will focus on these key areas to help determine whether the provider is meeting fundamental standards of quality and safety. However, inspectors will also take into account any specific concerns that have been raised by people who use the service or their family members.

During an unannounced visit, inspectors will consider whether there are systems and processes in place that enable providers to monitor, measure, and improve care for patients/clients/service users. Inspectors will also look at how the provider deals with complaints and whether they are learning from any mistakes.

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The inspection will also assess the quality of care being provided, including whether it is safe, effective, responsive to people’s needs, and well-led. Inspectors will look at the individual service areas that have been identified as a priority for the provider, and will also ask patients, clients, and service users about their experiences of the care they have received.

It is important to note that inspectors will not just look at what the provider is doing wrong, but will also give credit where it is due. For example, if a provider has systems in place that are effective and meet people’s needs, the inspector will recognize this.

The CQC website provides good information on KLOEs which can be found here:

  • Outstanding: The provider is fully compliant with all essential standards and the provider has implemented effective systems to monitor, measure and improve care. It goes above and beyond compliance to ensure people receive outstanding care
  • Good: The service provides a good quality of service and meets all essential standards. Risk management processes are proportionate, adequate, and work well. People who use the service are supported to have their say
  • Requires improvement: The service does not meet all essential standards, but the provider is taking action to improve care. People who use the service are involved in making this judgment.
  • Inadequate: The service does not meet one or more essential standards and the provider has failed to make improvements despite support from the CQC

The CQC’s website provides a wealth of information on how to make a complaint if you are not happy with the care that you or a loved one is receiving. You can also contact the CQC using the details on their website if you have any general questions about quality and safety in social care or want to know more about how the CQC inspects social care services.

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