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How to prepare for a CQC inspection

14 February 2022


  • CQC

Preparing for a CQC inspection is the best way to secure a CQC rating of at least Good. Don’t get caught off guard on the day of inspection! CQC inspectors follow a standardised framework to ensure the quality and safety of care in organisations. Find out what takes place during an inspection, how to prepare, and take a look at our CQC Inspection Checklist.


Firstly, what types of CQC inspections are there?

To determine ratings for organisations, the CQC carry out visits where they talk to staff and service users in order to gain a holistic view of the care given. There are 2 types of inspection:

  • Comprehensive – these are regularly carried out on health and social care services to ensure they’re providing care that meets the 5 key questions; safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.
  • Focused – carried out less frequently than comprehensive inspections, focused inspections take place if the CQC are concerned about something, or if there’s a change in a provider’s circumstances such as an acquisition. It’s important to note that focused inspections don’t always involve all 5 key questions.


What do the inspection team do on the day?

An inspection starts with a meeting with senior staff members where the inspector or inspection team explain who they are, the reason for the inspection including what it involves, and how they will show their results.

If the inspection is of an acute hospital, GP practise or GP out-of-hours, it begins with the care provider presenting their own view of their performance.

After the initial stage, the CQC gathers evidence. They structure their visit to focus on the key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) and any areas performing particularly well or poorly.

Evidence is collected by speaking to people who use the services. This can be done individually and in groups, looking at complaints and concerns of the service users, comment cards or pop up stalls. The inspectors also collate information from staff and may observe care, review records, look at documents and policies, and more.

The end of the visit involves the inspection team providing a feedback session with senior staff. They present a summary of their findings, pinpointing any issues and actions needed, then show any plans for further announced visits and how they will make their judgements and publish them. 

If an organisation is found to be inadequate, the CQC informs them that they must improve or they risk being closed down. If an organisation is found to be good or outstanding, a member of the public looking for care for either themselves or a loved one is more likely to get in touch.


Help with preparation for an inspection

We know that CQC inspections can be daunting, especially if you’ve previously been rated requires improvement or inadequate. That’s why we’ve created a simple CQC inspection checklist so that you can ensure you’re not only on top of all the fundamental standards but also have everything you need ready for the day.

CQC inspection checklist

Our help doesn’t stop here: we’ve helped many organisations including care homes improve their CQC rating. Radar Healthcare’s quality and compliance software consists of a choice of modules to help you prepare for your next CQC inspection and improve your ratings, from incident and event reporting to a ready-made KLOE audit where you can practice the 5 CQC standards. 


Let us help you prepare for your next CQC inspection:

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Gorsey Clough case study: residential care

At Radar Healthcare, we have many case studies showing how our customers love our system. When it comes to the CQC, Gorsey Clough stands out as using our software to bring about impressive results.

“Moving from an ‘Inadequate’ to a ‘Good’ CQC rating in such a short period of time is a significant achievement and the implementation of Radar Healthcare has been instrumental in this. We have an overall picture of the quality of care we are delivering; we can see where things are going wrong but more importantly, we have access to data and information which helps us prevent things from going wrong in the first place.

It has provided the team and the CQC with confidence that we now have the systems in place to deliver the highest standard of care.”

Craig Priestley, Manager at Gorsey Clough

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