The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been regulating and inspecting live-in care, home care and care home providers since 2009.
Its inspections, reports and ratings are a trusted part of how people choose care and in 2019 the CQC rated all three of Agincare’s 24-hour care teams as ‘Good’.
Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on how the CQC goes about inspecting social care providers. While limiting the number of in-person inspections the Commission has had to find other ways to monitor providers and make sure that their care is meeting the required standards.
Engagement and support calls
Since May the CQC has been making ‘engagement and support calls’, as part of their Emergency Support Framework. The telephone calls mean the CQC can continue to closely monitor care providers, just in a more physically-distanced way.
The calls cover four assessment areas:
Safe care and treatment: how the provider is dealing with infection prevention and control, whether there is sufficient equipment, and how they are managing medicines and risks
Staffing: staffing levels, and whether there are plans in place to manage any staffing shortfalls
Protection from abuse: whether the live-in care service is protecting its clients from abuse, harm and discrimination, and responding properly to any safeguarding incidents
Assurance processes, monitoring and risk management: staff health, safety and well-being, whether staff feel supported to speak up about any concerns, plus record-keeping and partnership working
Following the call, the care provider receives a summary record of the CQC’s findings. Although this isn’t an inspection, it does give people a good insight into how a care provider – in this case for live-in care – is managing the impact of coronavirus on its service, staff, clients and relatives.
Feedback on Agincare’s 24-hour home care services
All three of Agincare’s live-in care teams received positive feedback from the CQC following engagement and support calls. Each team was assessed as managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CQC noted that:
The live-in care workers in the team have sufficient PPE and equipment
Clients’ medicines are being managed effectively
There are suitably skilled staff across the team, with contingency plans in place should there be any shortfall in staffing
People are safeguarded from abuse, harassment and discrimination
Staff feel they can speak up and raise any concerns
Systems and records management are effective
There is effective partnership working with other health and social care organisations