Advocacy and CQC Compliance
It is important that service users in a care setting know about their rights and can stand up for them. Many people, especially those that are older or vulnerable, will require the assistance of an advocate to realise their rights and to ensure they can access the care and support services they require. Care providers should ensure that appropriate access is made available for advocacy services. This is not only to ensure people’s rights are respected, it will also assist a Provider to demonstrate to CQC compliance with Regulation 9.
Staffing, the CQC and Regulation 18
Creating a positive workplace will undoubtedly assist with staff retention. This will require a workplace culture that ensures that staff feel important and valued. The steps you take to achieve this culture can also assist you to demonstrate compliance with regulation 18.
Regulation 18 requires Providers to ensure the deployment of sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff. It requires that employees receive such training, professional development, supervision and appraisal as necessary to enable them to carry out their duties. Employees must also be enabled, where appropriate, to obtain further qualifications appropriate to the work they perform. If they are regulated professionals they must also be supported to evidence to their regulator that they continue to meet the professional standards which are a condition or requirement of their ability to practice.
Demonstrating compliance with Regulation 18 begins with the induction programme. It is very important to ensure that staff have a comprehensive induction that appropriately prepares them for their role. This may include working towards the Care Certificate. Staff should be clear about the structure and timeframe of the induction. Providers should actively support the completion of the induction and ensure that staff are appropriately supervised until they can demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and confidence required for their role. It is also extremely important that the induction training is well documented and that regular supervision sessions are recorded, even if some of these are informal. This will help you evidence your compliance to CQC.
You should also be able to evidence some form of induction for agency staff. Whilst the aim would be to keep agency use to a minimum, there are circumstances when agency use is required. Good practice would be to ensure that regular agency staff are used where possible. All agency staff should receive a mini-induction to the key policies and procedures of the service which should be documented. It is also wise to give consideration to the deployment of staff in a sensible and safe way ensuring that there is a good mix of agency and non-agency staff.
There are many steps that Providers can take to create a positive culture where staff feel important and valued. These include:
- Ensuring good communication at all times
Encourage staff to become involved and engaged by consulting with them on decisions. Ensure that you regularly seek staff feedback through team meetings and individual supervision sessions.
- Celebrating success: Where staff are performing well make sure you recognise this. Awards schemes are a good way of doing this. Acknowledging good performance will assist with job satisfaction. Seek regular feedback from service users and their families and be sure to pass this on to the staff concerned. Make sure you document this feedback and how you have actioned this so you can evidence this when CQC come to inspect.
- Support staff in their development. Allowing staff to progress through training and development gives a sense of achievement and demonstrates that you value their contribution. Seek input from staff through appraisals and supervisions as to how they would like to develop in their role. Identify training needs in collaboration with employees and support them to ensure these needs are met. Where staff are registered professionals e.g. nurses, ensure you provide them with the time and support required to fulfil their professional Revalidation obligations. Ensure that there are appropriate resources in place to allow them to do this.
Document all the steps you have taken. This will assist you to demonstrate compliance with regulation 18 which in turn will hopefully help contribute towards a rating of ‘Good’ from CQC.