CQC publishes its second Insight Report and releases plans in relation to future inspections 

On 17 June 2020, CQC published its second insight report ‘COVID-19 Insight: Issue 2’. This report looks at the information CQC has gathered in relation to the pressures that services and local systems have faced and the efforts that have been made to tackle them.

The insight report is split into the following 4 chapters:

1.       How providers are working together across systems in response to coronavirus

2.       How the care for people from different groups is being managed

3.       Focus on primary care

4.       Data

In the report, CQC states that there has been an increase in calls to its national contact centre from staff raising concerns about care during the coronavirus pandemic. CQC received 2,612 calls from adult social care staff raising concerns between 2 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, compared to 1,685 for the same period in 2019.

Key statistics from 2 March 2020 to 31 May 2020 include:

  • Over a quarter of calls (26%) to CQC related to lack of personal protective equipment or other infection control products.
  • 32% of calls included concerns about how infection control or social distancing was being practiced at the caller’s workplace.
  • 4% of calls referred to quality of care being impacted by coronavirus.
  • Of the 17 physical adult social care inspections conducted since 17 March 2020, 11 have occurred following concerns raised by staff or members of the public. The remainder were in response to notifications from the provider or information from key stakeholders
  • There has been an increase in calls about, or from, people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 and callers often expressed distress or confusion about why people are more likely to be confined to their rooms rather than being able to move around freely.
  • Of the eight mental health services the CQC has inspected since pausing routine inspections, five have occurred following result of concerns raised by staff or members of the public.
  • In Primary Medical Services, 3 inspections have been conducted since the cessation of routine inspections on 16 March 2020, all of which were as result of concerns raised by staff of members of the public.

CQC also reported that Trade Unions have reported receiving a high number of enquiries from members employed in social care about how they can raise concerns about the quality and safety of care.

Kate Terroni, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care said, “It’s in everyone’s interests that staff are able to speak up freely and are not prevented from raising their concerns about quality and safety – and all providers have a responsibility to support their staff to share concerns safely without fear of reprisal. Staff have been going to extraordinary lengths to deliver good, safe care during this global crisis – if they are experiencing barriers to the delivery of that care, we want to hear from them and we are encouraged that so many staff have been brave enough to raise concerns with us.”

A copy of the CQC insight report can be accessed here:

https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20200615%20COVID%20IV%20Insight%20number%202%20final%20%281%29.pdf

CQC has also released a press release regarding the insight report and states that CQC inspections are being scheduled to take place over the summer for higher risk services and there will be a managed return to routine inspection of lower risk services in the autumn.

A copy of the press release can be accessed here:

https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/regulating-during-covid-19-why-raising-concerns-about-care-more-important-ever