CQC has published reports on 110 adult social care services across the Central region in the past week. The results appear positive with 65% of homes being rated ‘Good’; 32% being rated ’Requires Improvement’; less than 2% ‘Inadequate’ and less than 1% ‘Outstanding’.
The figures represent a snapshot of the region but as with most things they don’t always reflect a current snapshot of services within the area. Some inspection visits upon which the inspection reports were based were conducted as far back as September and October of last year. That represents as much as 115 working days to turn around an inspection report. This is less of a criticism of the inspectors and more symptomatic of an inspection regime under immense pressure with insufficient time to dedicate to giving each service due consideration.
Slow turnaround times for inspection reports were raised in the public accounts committee’s assessment of CQC’s performance earlier in the year. It gave CQC a ‘must do better’ in the area of inspection report turnaround times and understandably so, especially in the case of a service which the regulator deems as inadequate. An inspector’s assessment of a provider should arrive in a timely fashion and even allowing for the time for providers to make comments on the draft report and question the ratings would not amount to the time it has taken for some of these reports to be turned around.
Some might say that an inspection which is carried out with the report being written before committing to completing another inspection would give a more meaningful result to the provider and the public. It would appear at present that inspectors have to complete a number of inspections often prior to completing reports on inspections they have conducted which is what can lead to some of the larger delays in publication.