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.