Do you know what the proposed new CQC approach to Health and Social Care regulation actually means and what impact this will have on health and social care providers, service delivery, workforce, clients, stakeholders and local communities?
If not, now is the time to find out. In early 2023, the regulator – CQC plans to implement new changes. Being informed means that you can prepare, organise, advise, guide, respond, and implement improvements whilst staying ahead of the requirements of the regulatory framework and wider expectations of clients, staff and stakeholders.
The CQC strategy has four main themes, underpinned by two core ambitions of ‘Assessing Local Systems’ and ‘Tackling Inequalities in Health and Care’. These four themes and core ambitions will influence and impact your future approach to regulation and the delivery of high-quality care.
- People and Communities
- Smarter Regulation
- Safety Through Learning
- Accelerating Improvement
You may be asking, what does it all mean?
Knowledge is key:
The key to being able to prepare is knowledge. Knowledge about the changes, about what the regulator’s priorities are, and how this translates across the services you provide. How do you demonstrate and evidence a consistent approach to safe, effective, compassionate, responsive, high-quality care with a passion for accelerating improvements?
Evidence is key:
Know how and what to evidence and mirror the regulator’s approach by structuring your approach to gathering and preparing a continual cycle of evidence. Implement a continuous monitoring approach to gathering evidence, be innovative, creative and responsive.
Consultation, Feedback, Listening and Action are key:
Obtain continuous feedback from people on their experience of care. Gather feedback from your workforce, leaders, stakeholders, partner organisations and the wider community. Listen, act and evidence the implementation of service improvements as a direct outcome of the consultation and feedback.
Observation is key:
Record a continual cycle of observations of care delivery across services, evidence the analysis of information and how service improvements are implemented, as a direct outcome of regular service delivery observation.
Good governance is key:
Evidence of embedded quality assurance and compliance systems and processes is essential. The implementation of a robust quality assurance and communication framework that is implemented without fail, where positive outcomes for individuals and services are consistently evidenced, will align with the revised regulatory approach. Review, update and align your good governance with the continuous monitoring approach to regulation.
The evidence is really key:
The regulator is implementing a more dynamic, flexible and continuous quality assessment through the use of Quality Statements. Understand the meaning. Understand the requirements.
Understand how to evidence the CQC Quality Statements. Some priority areas to focus on include:
Safety must be a priority for everyone. Having the right organisational culture is crucial to improving safety and ensuring the safety of everyone using, delivering and accessing care services. Ask the question – is there a learning culture? Is there a safeguarding culture? Is there a Health and Safety culture where everyone plays their part and creates the safest environment, where risks are consistently managed and mitigated? Plan how you can evidence and demonstrate your safety culture.
Strong and Inclusive Leaders and Partnership Working
The organisation has a clear management structure. The demonstration of visible, capable, knowledgeable, effective, compassionate and empowering leaders. Leaders who lead by example with clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. Underpinned by a dedicated and committed workforce, who all work effectively with partner organisations on service improvements through collaboration and a joined-up approach to the delivery of high-quality care. Capture through observation and feedback opportunities. Listen. Act. Learn.
People at the Heart of the Service – Listening and Acting on People’s Voices
Evidence of how people have a voice. A voice to compliment, influence, and implement positive change.
Implement a consistent approach to gathering feedback from all involved in services, be creative and innovative, utilising digital solutions to capture a continuous flow of feedback. Implement effective engagement and consultation methods, which lead to the evidence of accelerated service improvements. keep a record of the improvements and impact and how people at the heart of the service continuously influence the direction and journey of the service.
A Supported and Skilled Workforce
Invest in the workforce. Implement plans to retain the talented and skilled workforce. Cultivate a recruitment and onboarding process that is responsive, inclusive, and supportive. Implement a robust and varied induction with a supportive probation process, complimented by mandatory and specialist training opportunities. Offer further educational opportunities and leadership roles through specialist continual professional development and training. Prioritise workforce wellbeing and enablement, engagement, communication and consultation. Without your valuable workforce, there effectively is no service.
How sustainable is your organisation? Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. Consider economic, environmental and social sustainability and develop a sustainability strategy to evidence commitment to the future of the service, the people and the planet.
Accelerated and Continuous Improvement
Embrace and implement good and best practice resources. Be aware of sector influences at both local and national levels. Engage with and implement service improvements through effective communication, collaboration and consultation with people who use, access, deliver and require those services to meet the needs of individuals and the wider community. Evidence the accelerated improvements through continuous improvement plans, demonstrate effectiveness, impact and changes implemented and continually review, update and evidence all improvements.
Are You Ready for the CQC Changes Ahead?
Knowledge is power, and evidencing knowledge is powerful. The key to understanding the regulatory requirements is understanding how to continually evidence, how to provide continuous assurance, how to demonstrate the delivery of high-quality care through regular communication, engagement and collaboration and the prioritisation of an open, honest and transparent approach to regulation and service delivery.
Plan ahead and continually monitor, self-assess, and evidence accelerated service improvements. Share the knowledge, share the expertise and experience and above all, empower individuals and take everyone on the journey with you.
Inform, communicate, engage, embrace and encourage participation across the wider community. If everyone is empowered to contribute and to positively influence the service journey, it will be built upon the solid foundation of valuable partnerships, collaboration, inclusion, diversity, fairness and respect.
Guest blog by Lisa Hitchcox – Xceed Care Compliance