Regulator sets out its new ratings regime

Posted on September 29th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Regulator sets out its new ratings regime

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has set out what Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate will look like across each of the key areas it will routinely inspect adult social care services against. From October, CQC will begin implementing its new approach to regulating adult social care in England.

Specialist teams, including trained members of the public (‘experts by experience’), will inspect services against what CQC says matters most to the people who use them – are they safe, caring, effective, responsive to their needs, and well-led? CQC will then rate these services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate.

By March 2016, CQC expects to have rated every adult social care service in England. Following its public consultation and testing earlier this year, CQC has published the questions (called ‘key lines of enquiry’) that its inspection teams will use to guide them on their visits, as well as descriptions of what care would look like for each of these ratings.

CQC says the guidance will be used by its inspection teams when they inspect care homes and community services to help them be consistent when making their judgements. For care providers, it can help them to understand the sorts of things that CQC’s inspection teams will be focusing on and help to know what CQC will be looking for when awarding its ratings. Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at the Care Quality Commission said the key lines of enquiry and ratings characteristics were an important part of the regulator’s new approach to inspecting and rating adult social care in England.

“They will allow our inspectors to really get under the skin of adult social care services across England so that providers know what we are expecting and how we will consistently rate their services,” said Ms Sutcliffe.

“The key lines of enquiry and ratings characteristics have been developed after extensive engagement, testing and consultation with people who use services, carers, providers, commissioners and national partners. I am very grateful to everyone who has been involved in helping to shape and design the questions we will ask and the characteristics of the ratings. I am sure that this will mean people can be confident in the judgements our inspections will make.”

CQC has published separate key lines of enquiry and ratings characteristics for residential (care homes, with and without nursing) and community services (when people receive care in their own homes, including Shared Lives and supported living services).

  • For further information about the key lines of enquiry and ratings characteristics that CQC’s inspection teams will begin to use on their inspections of Adult Social Care services in England from next month, visit:

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