March 27, 2024

How long it should take you to do CQC related work

Table of contents

Feel like you may be spending too many hours worrying about the CQC? Or are you concerned that you’re not doing enough worrying? Don’t worry - you are not alone. Some of the providers we have spoken to used to spend hours a week worrying and preparing for CQC readiness - with many more feeling rushed and under pressure when it came to inspections.

This article breaks down some of the key areas providers may be unintentionally spending wasted time and effort in the pursuit of meeting regulatory standards - and suggests some quick ways to take back those hours and get into a simple weekly rhythm, so you can invest back into your business.

First, lets take a look at some of the most common ways providers waste time in relation to getting CQC ready. If any of these sound like you - don’t worry. Some solutions will come at the end of this article!

  1. Over-Reliance on Paper Records: Many providers still rely heavily on paper-based systems for their records and documentation. This can lead to time-consuming searches for specific documents, difficulties in updating records, and challenges in demonstrating compliance during an inspection.
  2. Inefficient Training Methods: Training staff is crucial for maintaining CQC standards, but traditional training methods can be time-consuming and may not always be effective. In-person training sessions, while valuable, often require scheduling that takes staff away from their primary duties. Without a blend of digital and in-person training tools, providers may find they're spending more time than necessary on training without improving outcomes.
  3. Lack of Proactive Planning: Some domiciliary care providers approach CQC inspections with a reactive mindset, scrambling to prepare when an inspection is imminent. This last-minute rush can lead to inefficiencies and oversights.
  4. Poor Communication and Delegation: In some instances, there may be a lack of clear communication and delegation regarding who is responsible for various aspects of CQC readiness. This can lead to duplication of efforts, with multiple staff members unknowingly working on the same tasks, or important tasks being overlooked entirely.
  5. Not Utilising External Resources and Guidance: Often, providers may not fully utilise the guidance and resources available from the CQC or other external bodies. This can lead to providers spending time developing their own systems and procedures that may not align with CQC expectations, thereby necessitating additional adjustments and revisions.

Now, let’s look at some ways to solve for these.

Understanding CQC inspection requirements

Familiarise yourself with the CQC's latest guidelines and standards - and ensure your team is also aware of these requirements. This knowledge forms the foundation of your inspection readiness. Regular team meetings to discuss updates and changes to CQC standards can be a great start. Keeping abreast of the latest developments from the CQC's official website is a vital first step in this journey. One simple way to get a handle on changes fast is to follow social care influencers like Mark Topps, who regularly share digestible insights and checklists to help you and the team understand regulatory changes.

Streamlining preparation with digital tools

The use of digital tools, such as intelligent care management software, can significantly streamline your inspection preparation process. These systems can ensure that policies, feedback, and records are organised and easily accessible.

However, not all solutions need to be digital (although it helps if they are) - traditional methods like well-maintained physical files and regular manual checks can also be effective, though much more time-consuming. The key is to have a system that works consistently and ensures all necessary documentation is up-to-date and readily available. Conducting regular audits, either digitally or manually, of your documentation is an effective way to ensure compliance.

Staff training and engagement for CQC success

Continuous training and keeping certifications up to date are essential to meeting CQC standards. Develop a robust training program that includes both digital and in-person training sessions. This program should cover not only the basics of care but also updates in CQC standards and best practices in domiciliary care. Remember, an informed and well-trained care professional is your biggest asset in providing high-quality care! Regular feedback sessions with your team can also help identify any gaps in knowledge or skills. Use tools like Birdie’s CQC checklists to help the whole team feel ready to go at anytime.

Effective documentation and record keeping

Thorough documentation and record-keeping are vital in demonstrating compliance during CQC inspections. This includes maintaining accurate care plans, timesheets, and feedback records. While digital solutions can make this process far more efficient, manual systems can also be effective if managed properly. Ensure that your team understands the importance of accurate documentation - regular training on documentation standards and conducting self-audits can help maintain the necessary level of detail and accuracy in your records.

Proactive inspection readiness

Adopting a culture of continuous readiness for inspections, rather than last-minute preparations, is crucial. This can include conducting regular internal audits, either digitally or manually, and mock inspections. The aim is to be in a state of constant preparedness, so when an actual inspection occurs, it is just another day at the office. This approach not only helps in maintaining high standards of care but also reduces the stress and workload associated with preparing for inspections.

In conclusion, the preparation for CQC inspections should be an ongoing process integrated into your daily operations - treating it as a separate area to focus on can lead to lots of wasted time and energy. Embracing both digital and manual methods to ensure compliance, regular training, and a proactive approach to inspection readiness can significantly reduce the time and effort required to meet standards.

Want to read more on this? Click the button below to read our article ‘What you risk in overlooking efficiency’

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