March 10, 2022

Reach outstanding in your next CQC inspection: how to improve your CQC report

Table of contents

“How can I achieve an outstanding CQC report” is a question we get asked all the time. 

Reaching that all-important outstanding rating in your CQC report is a lofty, but achievable goal for many home care providers. At Birdie, we work with hundreds of home care providers all over the country, and thanks to innovative software and the better management that comes as a result, we’ve been able to have a positive impact on the CQC ratings of some of our partner agencies. 

So, with a new decade beginning, we thought we’d share some of the key learnings from our partners - so you can reach outstanding too.

One of our partner agencies recently improved their CQC rating in responsiveness from good to outstanding, so we asked Emma, the director of care at Elite Care what it means to be rated ‘outstanding’. Here’s what she had to say:

“When it comes to reaching outstanding, it’s about looking at what you need to do for outstanding is make sure that you’re going over above - going the extra mile and making some positive, ongoing change in someone's life. But it’s about the evidence, and I think that’s where Birdie will help because we’re going to catch all that evidence. It’s not going to go missing in a paper file somewhere and it’ll all be at our fingertips.”

- Emma, Elite Care

With Emma’s feedback in mind, we’ve outlined the five key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) that you’ll be rated on and detailed how you can demonstrate ‘outstanding’ in each.

1. Safe

Ensure incident reporting (significant events and serious untoward incidents) is embraced by staff throughout the practice.

If you use Birdie, you can do this via your Alert Manager, just like Elite Care.

Demonstrate the continuous improvement, culture and accountability - and be sure to show how you address incidents, both large and small. 

Keeping a log of these is a great place to start, but it’s even easier to review your incident handling when it’s all stored digitally.

Read more about the CQC Safe KLOE

2. Effective

Carry out regular audits to evidence a commitment to continuously improving outcomes for patients. 

Most of our agencies who were previously using paper were auditing their services monthly, on average. With Birdie, you can audit every day, just by taking a look at what’s happening on your Birdie Agency Hub. From alerts to your MAR charts, everything is documented online, making auditing almost as automatic as making your morning coffee!

Ensure that your guidelines and policies include evidence-based guidance and national recommendations (e.g. from NICE.) 

If you use a system like Birdie, you can be sure that your data is safe, as we comply with GDPR and NICE requirements.

Work collaboratively to improve care through innovations, improvements in pathways, improvements in teamwork and more efficient ways of working. 

With the Birdie Quality Dashboard, you can see at a glance the areas that you need to improve, making it simple to address any problems before they arise, and helping you innovate the service you provide.

Read more about the CQC Effective KLOE

3. Caring

Empower patients to be part of their ongoing care and actively seek their views and feedback to evidence specific outstanding services that you provide. 

Your CQC inspector will want to see evidence of how your staff are actively caring for your clients to prove you’re reaching ‘outstanding’. With digital profiles and task schedules that can be personalised, you can easily reference some of the changes you’ve made, and the decisions that your clients have been actively involved in. A great example of this comes from another of our partner agencies, Harino Care. Tracey, the registered manager told us:

“For example one of the tasks would be a normal assist wash in the mornings, but we would make that person-centred, by saying ‘the bowl is in the kitchen, please use the yellow flannel for the top. Mrs Smith prefers to use X bubble bath’ So we can make it actually really really person-centred and the carers can see exactly what they need to do. Even if they haven’t visited the client before, they can see exactly what the client’s preferences are.

- Tracey Pearce, Harino Care

Read more about the CQC Caring KLOE


4. Responsive

When delivering care, ensure individual clients’ needs are considered and actively seek their views and engage with them on a regular basis. 

The way you respond to the changing needs of your client is important to the way you’ll be rated when it comes to your CQC inspection. The Birdie Alert manager gives you an easy way to respond to issues that arise, but the important factor for the CQC is in ensuring that you respond to these needs personally and adapt your care plans accordingly.

Read more about the CQC Responsive KLOE

5. Well-led

Provide strong leadership to ensure a sense of mutual support and passion to deliver person-centred care.

Being a great leader is key to proving to the CQC that your home care agency is worthy of an outstanding badge of honour. Be sure to engage your staff in decision making, and make sure that everyone is always up to date with the latest training. 

If you have regular staff meetings or training sessions, be sure to show your logs and evidence to your CQC inspector to prove that you’re leading well. 

Read more about the CQC well-led KLOE

Looking for more? Why not read our guide to getting set for your next inspection, here. Or, if you want to improve your score, check out 7 ways to improve your rating.

Ready to go digital? Book a demo today and we’ll walk you through how Birdie could help you reach your outstanding.


Get a free downloadable, printable tip sheet to help improve your CQC rating. Just click here to download yours now.

Got a CQC inspection coming up? Why not check out our top tips for getting prepped? Read the blog, here.

Want to find out more about CQC inspections? Check out our blog roundup of a talk held by Deanna Westwood, Head of CQC Inspections, held earlier this year. She talks about CQC's 2021 digital strategy and how they're evolving the ESF framework in the wake of COVID-19. Or if you're looking to capture evidence that proves your business is outstanding, get some top tips here.

You might also be interested in our on-demand webinar which focuses on improving your CQC score with care management software like Birdie.

Sign up for our CQC preparation webinar

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