The 5 CQC fundamental standards
When monitoring, inspecting and regulating care organisations, the CQC looks for 5 standards to be met. These 5 standards are:
Safe – you’re protected from abuse and avoidable harm
Effective – your care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes
Caring – staff involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect
Responsive – services are organised so that they meet your needs
Well-led – the leadership, management, and governance of the organisation make sure it’s providing high quality care
The CQC rating scale
The CQC rates organisations against each of the 5 key questions above, as well as giving an overall rating. These ratings range from inadequate, requires improvement, good, and outstanding.
Any member of the public can look up a service provider on the CQC’s website and see their ratings. This means that people choose care providers often through knowledge of their CQC rating. If an organisation is providing people with safe, effective, compassionate high quality care, they will likely attract more service users.
How a CQC inspection is carried out
There are 2 different CQC inspection types: comprehensive and focused. Comprehensive inspections are carried out regularly to ensure that care services provide people with services that meet the 5 key questions. Focused inspections are less frequent and for specific reasons like a concern or a change in provider circumstance. These may not involve all 5 of the key questions.
The CQC meet with senior staff members at the start of an inspection and provide a brief. They will then gather evidence focused around the key lines of enquiry. The CQC will speak to service users and staff, observe, look at key documents, and more.
At the end of the visit there is a feedback session where the CQC present their findings and pinpoint any issues. If a result is inadequate, the CQC has the power to shut them down if they don’t improve.