We hope you find our blog useful and, if you have implemented any of the ideas we have shared, please do let us know – we would love to hear from you….
This week, I wanted to go back to the blog from three weeks ago where we talked about the CQC Inspection Methodology and something we mentioned i.e. “Business As Usual” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cqc-inspection-methodology-sarah-knapp
One of the key themes throughout the recent series of blogs about CQC and inspection, based on the Skills for Care Lead to Succeed programme and the feedback from the participants, is be prepared and don’t leave getting ready for inspection to preceding weeks just before inspection. There are numerous reasons for this, some of which we have already discussed. Ultimately, however, if you are prepared then the inspectors can come whenever, because they would not see anything different on any given day.
This is the essence of “business as usual”; when the inspectors are there, you want them to see exactly what happens on any “normal” day – due to your excellent preparation and on-going procedures and processes, you and your team are delivering exceptional care and support day in, day out. In our experience, staff can often be left out of the loop; they don’t understand how they are involved in the process and inspection is usually dealt with “behind closed doors”. This is something we hope will change because managers are not the only people with great ideas; in fact, involving staff can sometimes generate some of the best ones!
Think of it this way: “business as usual” is doing what you would normally do despite the inspectors being there; simply put, it is integrity, a measure of your leadership and values….
If you leave getting ready for inspection until “just beforehand”, then the impression of “exceptional” will wear thin pretty quickly. If staff are not prepared for what a “normal day” can include, then a visit from inspectors could well increase their anxiety and cause them, and possibly the people they support, some distress.
Another way of looking at it is, if the behaviour of staff appears contrived when the inspectors are there, instead of “business as usual”, it is much more difficult to “keep up appearances” than it is to do what you normally do. This will likely cause staff undue stress which can be avoided by simply preparing them for what will happen and encouraging them to focus on their regular routine and not do something special because CQC are carrying out an observation.
If staff are well prepared for what a “normal” day can entail, then a visit from the inspectors is unlikely to make any difference. Furthermore, if we can upgrade our collective mindset about inspection, the impact will be long-lasting. For example, if the senior team shows any anxiety, or is less than excited about having CQC visit, this will naturally cascade to staff and they will think that they have something to worry about.
Thinking back to my blog three weeks ago, you know CQC’s inspection methodology, so you can prepare accordingly and that is not just the team “in the office”, it’s everyone. As we have suggested previously as well, this is your opportunity to shine, so coach your staff to do exactly the same as they do on any “normal” day. Help them to appreciate that much of what they do is exceptional and CQC needs to know about the amazing job they do, all the time, often in challenging circumstances.