Understanding The CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE): Are They Well-Led?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator responsible for overseeing health and social care in England, including safeguarding care homes.

The CQC’s policies and procedures are based around five key questions they call their Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE). These are the questions that any social care facility must answer during an inspection.

To ensure you’re successfully following the CQC’s care home policy, we’ve broken down each of their Key Lines of Enquiry. In the last in our series, we’ll be exploring the KLOE that examines if your organisation is well-led.

How is Your Organisation Governed?

In evaluating if your organisation is well-led, the CQC looks at the organisation and governance of your care home. This encompasses the quality of upper-level leadership as well as the vision represented in your care home policy.

Your management team should be well-trained, and every staff member should be working to ensure care is of high quality and the organisation itself is open and inclusive.

When it comes to safeguarding in care homes, the CQC wants to see that your leaders are approachable and are qualified for their positions. However, this isn’t just about senior managers but a commitment to providing high-quality care throughout your employee hierarchy.

You should ensure that staff across your services feel comfortable, respected, and valued and that they, as much senior management, are aware of your vision for high-quality care.

Improving Your Services

The CQC’s policies and procedures specifically examine whether your care home is taking continual steps to improve the quality of care offered.

In particular, your care home policy should include details of processes for learning and continuous improvement. For example, you may be actively working towards specific professional accreditations, or you may offer staff time out to review their work.

Your organisation should be able to prove to the CQC that your care home strategy – including examples of staff training, projects, or organisation reviews – does lead to improved care.

Creating an Appropriate Work Culture

‘Work culture’ is an umbrella term that encompasses the culture among staff members and the experience of the people who use your services.

If your staff do not feel comfortable at work or are repeatedly experiencing the same problems, your care home policy and strategy need some work. If you ignore these problems, they will undoubtedly affect the quality of care given to clients.

Make sure that you’re offering ways for your staff to give feedback or suggestions, whether that’s anonymously or in a monthly staff meeting. Even better, you might open these meetings to your clients and their families.

Processes for Managing Issues

Having a system in place to deal with concerns is as important as creating a space for staff and clients to voice them.

The CQC’s policies and procedures state that for an organisation to be well-led, it must have clear arrangements for managing performance issues, winter pressures, and any other potential risks.

To do this, you might include details of business continuity plans, your KPIs, and winter pressure plans in your care home policy.

It’s not just about including these things in your policy, though. The CQC will be looking for clear evidence that you are identifying and addressing risks.

To help deal with risks, employees should be sharing what they learn to ensure that every level of your organisation addresses the problem.

To best adhere to the CQC’s policies and procedures, it’s essential to have a robust and transparent care home policy in place. For help with creating a strategy and policy, have a look at The Policy Library’s expansive library.

Understanding The CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE): Are They Effective?


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. The purpose of the CQC policies and procedures is to make sure health and social care services provide people with safe and high-quality care.

To safeguard care homes, CQC inspectors use the five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE), and the process centers around five key questions. For each question the CQC has set out what ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’ looks like.

There are a lot of things to consider when striving for an outstanding or good rating. But the first and most important thing is to make sure that your care home policies align with the CQC.

To help you, we have put together a series breaking down the five KLOEs. In this blog, we will focus on answering the CQC’s question, “are you effective?”

Knowing People’s Needs and Delivering Treatment

Even though effectiveness can be demonstrated more by outcomes, having a clear care home policy on how you assess people’s needs can make a difference. Bear in mind that people’s mental and social needs are as important as their physical and medical needs.

When making any care and support decisions, it is crucial to CQC policies and procedures that you ensure that there is no discrimination taking place. Another part of being effective is using modern and up-to-date technology that provides better care for patients. Don’t forget that technology doesn’t necessarily mean digital innovation. From better administrative services to staff training, technology can be a powerful tool.

Well-Trained, Skilled, and Experienced Staff

We all know that staff play a central role in any care home. Hiring, training, and supporting skilled employees shouldn’t be taken lightly.

CQC policies and procedures are in place to ensure that your team knows how to deliver quality care. Your team has to be trained to communicate and work with each other and operate in a wider setting. Plus, to safeguard care homes, CQC inspectors will check if referrals are made to other services by your staff when needed and in a timely manner. So, an effective care home policy should be crystal clear on what is expected of employees.

Balanced Nutrition and Hydration

Don’t forget that involving people in everyday activities is central to CQC standards. Even when it comes to nutrition, your care home policy should include ways to promote residents’ independence. For example, offering support for residents to make their own meals, based on their cultural preferences and needs, will have a positive impact.

Accessible and Well-Maintained Premises

As the saying goes, cleanliness is next to godliness. And your care home should be no exception.

To adhere to CQC policies and procedures, premises must be kept clean, looked after, and be suitable for treatment and care. Also, ensure that proper arrangements are in place. People need to have space for their activities or to spend time alone.

Consent to Care and Treatment

It is essential to CQC policies and procedures that people must give their consent before they receive any care or treatment. If the person cannot consent, consent must be received from the person acting on their behalf.

That’s where an effective care home policy comes in, and it informs about how situations like these should be handled. You also should ensure that your team is aware of the relevant consent and decision-making requirements of legislation, including the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Children’s Acts 1989 and 2004, and other relevant national guidance.       If you are looking for your care home policies to ensure you are providing high-quality, CQC-approved care, check out our expansive library here.

Understanding The CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE): Are They Safe?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is England’s independent regulator of health and social care. The CQC policies and procedures ensure high-quality care standards are met throughout the industry. They do this by giving ratings to care settings of either outstanding, good, requires improvement, or inadequate.

To safeguard care homes, they have established five Key Lines of Enquiry that are meant to be answered during CQC inspections.

To ensure your care home policies align with the CQC, The Policy Library has put together a series breaking down the five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE).

The first blog in the series will focus on: Are they safe?

Safeguarding individuals from abuse

When the CQC asks about safety, the first thought is protecting individuals from elder abuse and negligence according to care home policy such as the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 13.

While abuse is a heavy discussion, it is vital to safeguard your care home from abuse and negligence through effective care home policies.

Abuse can come in the form of physical, sexual, mental or psychological, financial, and discrimination.

Not all safety concerns will come from abuse. Instead, the negligence of individuals or the care settings can lead to harm, which is why it will be essential to provide practical training on safeguarding in care homes.

Ensure your staff report and document any concerns they have about individuals and the care setting and implement the appropriate changes promptly.

Individuals, their families, and advocates should know exactly who they can report to and how they can access information if they have any concerns about their safety.

Proper and safe use of medications

Individuals, their families, and advocates must understand why they are taking medications to promote their freedoms and choices about their care.

Proper use of medication also means that your staff is experienced in distributing medicines and that your staff is using the medicine for its intended purposes and giving to individuals at the correct times.

Confirm that your care home system covers medication distribution so that you adhere to CQC policies and procedures.

Protection and control of infection

The Coronavirus has shown just how rapidly infection can spread, especially in care homes.

CQC policies and procedures are in place to prevent the spread of infection, and your staff should thoroughly record and document any outbreak that they are treating.

Your care home policy should also have cleaning schedules recorded thoroughly to ensure individuals and staff are living and working in hygienic care settings.

It will be essential that your policies ensure your staff are taking care of their hygiene to provide quality care to individuals.

Learning and improving from mistakes

Accidents will always happen, but it is crucial to CQC policies and procedures that your care home has effective policies and systems to resolve incidents quickly.

It is also crucial to thoroughly report and document any incidents that arise throughout their shifts.

If you are looking for your care home policies to ensure you are providing high quality, CQC approved care, check out our expansive library here.