New plans for CQC adult social care inspections to be announced

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

Tomorrow CQC are due to announce a package of intended changes to the way they will regulate registered services.  The new Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, has announced her plans for ‘experts by experience’ to play a central role in her radical overhaul of care sector regulation.

Some of the main changes for adult social care include:

  • Homes will be ranked from ‘poor’ to ‘excellent’ and this information will be made easily accessible online for the public.
  • Inspectors in Ms Sutcliffe’s team will only work in adult social care.
  • Experts by experience (members of the public) will be present alongside inspectors during inspections.  They will be trained and paid for their time and expenses.
  • Specialist advisers – experts with specific knowledge – may also be present alongside the inspector and expert by experience during some inspections.  These are expected to go into services where particular experience is required e.g. hospices.

With reference to inspectors, Ms Sutcliffe said “We’ve got experienced inspectors but what they’ve been doing is working to a generic model, so they might be going into a hospital and looking at an intensive-care unit and then going into a domiciliary care service the next….What I want to make sure is that we’re identifying those people within our inspection team who actually have the skills and experience and the understanding of adult social care that means they’re our experts and they can make a professional judgement.”

Commenting on the introduction of experts by experience, Ms Sutcliffe said “These are people who’ve had an experience of care, either because they might be a mental-health service user themselves, or they might have cared for someone who’s been in a residential home with dementia.”  She added “We know that an awful lot of those folk are keen to share their experience and share their insight and we know also that when they are involved in inspections they give us a tremendous way of finding out from people who are currently using the service – and the staff – what it’s like, because they’re having a very empathic conversation.”

Services will be ranked according to how caring, effective, responsive, safe and well-led they are.  More frequent inspections may be carried out for services judged to be failing.

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