Top tips to help care providers achieve that prized CQC outstanding rating were provided by QCS director of quality Ed Watkinson during the London Care Roadshow in Epsom yesterday.
Ed set out a three-step process for providers to follow to give them a chance of reaching the top rating.
Firstly, providers should focus on preparation and understanding by viewing the inspection as an opportunity to sell themselves. Ed said providers should be prepared to provide evidence of outstanding practice.
Providers should focus on their strengths with only two out of five outstanding ratings required to achieve overall outstanding. Figures show ‘caring’ and ‘safe’ are the most attainable categories.
They should also read CQC outstanding reports from homes in the area offering the same service. Peregrine House in Whitby, which has achieved outstanding in all five ratings, is a good place to start. To view its report click here.
Operators should also fully understand the key lines of enquiry the inspectors will follow and should see where they would rate themselves on all the ratings criteria.
It is also important to gather the views of service users and health professionals.
Before the inspection, providers should spend time on the Provide Information Return (PIR) which acts as an alert to an inspection. Inspectors should within eight weeks of receipt of the PIR.
An evidence file of innovations, exceptional and extraordinary practices should also be kept.
Inspectors should be thought about as a potential service user. Mock inspections are also a good way of preparing staff.
“During the inspection it is important to be transparent and open – a smile goes a long way,” Ed advised.
Managers should also trust and encourage their staff to talk to inspectors.
Providers should be proactive and present evidence and not rely on inspections finding outstanding practice.
Ed advised operators to “share their passion” and not to “assume others do what you do”. “Small things can make a big impact,” Ed said.
Lastly, after the inspection Ed advised operators to keep in touch with the inspectors and share more evidence if necessary, while also rewarding themselves and their staff.