‘Shock and awe’ may not be the best approach to inspection
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
Stories about up to eight CQC personnel descending on a care home to carry out a routine inspection are becoming commonplace and I do wonder if this is the best methodology the regulator could adopt.
It smacks of a raid rather than an inspection and nothing could be more effective at putting the staff, from the manager to the handyman, off their stride. If an inspection aims to assess how a care home functions under pressure, then this modus operandi surely achieves that goal. But if an inspection is being carried out to evaluate the quality of care delivery and the competency of staff, to assess outcomes and to get an idea of how the community operates on a day-to-day basis, then I think this approach is ill-conceived.
Let’s assume we have eight inspectors spending six hours for an inspection. That makes 48 inspector-hours or three working days for two inspectors. After the first day (some of which might be spent largely in the office ticking the mandatory boxes) the residents and staff would be used to having the two of them around. The next two days could be spent in unobtrusive observation of the care home community, noting its strengths and weaknesses. There would be time for chats with residents, relatives and staff at appropriate times without disrupting service delivery. Crucially, the pair would have time to explore fully any practices which, on first blush, appear questionable but which, after consultation with residents/relatives/staff, might be shown to be entirely appropriate. There would be less ‘jumping to judgment’.
All these benefits, and with no deployment of extra resources. Of course I am assuming that the inspectors have been appropriately trained and know how to do their job – a fair assumption as the Care Quality Commission assures us that this is the case.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.