CQC Inspections and Celebrating UK Care Week 

Celebrating compassion with UK Care Week and understanding CQC inspections 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is central to the operation of care service providers like us. With recent changes to the way it carries out inspections and assessments, we’ve put together an explanation as to what clients, carers, and our community can expect going forward. It’s also UK Care Week this month, so it’s a fitting time to shine a spotlight on this great industry initiative. 

What is the Care Quality Commission?  

The CQC is a regulatory body that oversees health and adult social care services in England. Its objective is to ensure that these services deliver safe, effective, compassionate, and high-quality care.  

What is the new CQC assessment framework? 

The CQC evaluates using five key questions and a four-point rating scale. As a home care service provider, Birchwood Care Services will be subject to independent inspections. These will be conducted by the CQC and assess safety, effectiveness, care, responsiveness, and leadership. The updated framework uses scores to determine the rating given, ensuring clarity and consistency in the CQC’s judgement of care quality. 

What are the CQC ‘I’ and ‘We’ statements? 

The CQC has developed a range of ‘I’ and ‘We’ statements which outline the commitments that providers like Birchwood Care Services should live up to. These are expressed as ‘we statements’ to help show what is needed to deliver high-quality, person-centred care. 

The quality statements show how services and providers need to work together to plan and deliver high-quality care. As an example of the structure, here is one of the caring ‘we statements’ for treating people as individuals: “We treat people as individuals and make sure their care, support and treatment meets their needs and preferences. We take account of their strengths, abilities, aspirations, culture, and unique backgrounds and protected characteristics.” 

What this quality statement means according to the CQC is that the service provider and its staff should ensure that: 

  • People’s individual needs and preferences are understood, and these are reflected in their care, treatment and support. 
  • People’s personal, cultural, social and religious needs are understood and met. 
  • Staff treat people as individuals, considering any relevant protected equality characteristics. 
  • People’s communication needs are met to enable them to engage in their care, treatment and support to maximise their experience and outcomes. 

To explore the full list of ‘We statements’ for each quality statement, visit the below CQC pages: 

A series of ‘I statements’ have also been written to emulate the perspective of clients and people receiving care. These demonstrate a clear definition of quality and safety to measure the standards and experiences of care. The ‘I statements’ include: 

  • I am treated with respect and dignity. 
  • I have care and support that enables me to live as I want to, seeing me as a unique person with skills, strengths and personal goals. 
  • I am supported to manage my health in a way that makes sense to me. 
  • I am in control of planning my care and support. If I need help with this, people who know and care about me are involved. 
  • I can keep in touch and meet up with people who are important to me, including family, friends and people who share my interests, identity and culture. 

What do staff and clients need to know about the CQC inspection process? 

The CQC will visit Birchwood Care Services to inspect its processes and activities. They may or may not provide advance notice. The representative will evaluate the services provided and may: 

  • Monitor the care and how staff interact with clients closely; 
  • Observe the care environment, including equipment and premises; 
  • Communicate with the individuals who use the services at Birchwood Care Services; 
  • Speak to staff and service leaders. 

Clients of Birchwood Care Services will be given the opportunity to participate in the assessment conducted by the CQC and express their opinions. We encourage everyone to feel comfortable speaking their mind and to provide honest feedback. 

CQC spot checks 

An important aspect of the inspection process is spot checks. The CQC explain that during a spot check, its representatives will engage with patients and staff, and cross-reference observations with records to identify any regulatory compliance gaps. Upon arrival, CQC inspectors will present identification badges featuring a photo and a warrant signed by the chief executive. 

They will speak with managers and members of staff of all levels. It is important to understand that the CQC do not expect all staff to have the same knowledge, but it does expect staff to understand their role in providing good outcomes for people and knowing what to do if they have concerns. Pathway tracking may also be conducted to gather first-hand perspectives on service experiences.

A focus on environmental sustainability 

The CQC have also brought in a focus on environmental sustainability and sustainable development, creating the following quality statement for service care providers to ideally embody: “We understand any negative impact of our activities on the environment, and we strive to make a positive contribution in reducing it and support people to do the same.” 

The ways that this statement can be demonstrated by service provider and their leaders is by: 

  • Understanding that climate change is a significant threat to the health of people who use services, their staff, and the wider population. 
  • Empowering staff to understand sustainable healthcare and how to reduce the environmental impact of healthcare activity.  
  • Encouraging a shared goal of preventative, high quality, low carbon care. 
  • Embedding Green Plans and the principles of net zero care in planning and delivery of care.  

Championing UK Care Week  

What is UK Care Week? 

In the bustling city of Birmingham, something exciting is on the horizon for our industry – UK Care Week 2024. This upcoming event, scheduled for March 21-23, is all about celebrating the essential role that caregivers play in society, whilst also addressing the challenges that the sector currently faces. At Birchwood Care Services, we recognise the importance of growth and development in our industry. Events and awareness activities like UK Care Week are just one aspect of our commitment to continual improvement and uplifting the lives and jobs of our clients and carers. 

Why is UK Care Week important? 

It’s important to acknowledge that care is often underappreciated, despite providing crucial support to vulnerable members of our community. UK Care Week was created to recognise and appreciate their dedication, compassion, and resilience. It aims to foster discussion and collaboration within the care community so that caregivers feel valued and empowered to continue their important work. 

The theme of this year’s event, “Empowering Care: Building Resilient Communities,” emphasises the importance of empowering both caregivers and care recipients. Building resilient communities requires access to quality care, support networks, and advocacy for social inclusion and equality. As a platform for raising awareness about the challenges and inequalities prevalent within the care sector, this week is incredibly important – it’s all about creating a safe space where everyone feels heard, seen, and valued. 

Celebrating carers and clients 

This week is not just about professionals and policymakers; it’s also about celebrating the resilience and strength of individuals receiving care and those who provide it. Through testimonials, art exhibitions, and interactive sessions, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the diverse experiences within the care community and the importance of dignity, respect, and person-centred care. 

UK Care Week 2024 can be a truly transformative awareness initiative and event, celebrating the care sector whilst also addressing critical issues facing caregivers and care recipients. It’s great to see the industry come together. 

If you would like to read more about celebrating carers please read our blog about Professional Care Workers Week here

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