For any health or social care provider that becomes registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), it is important that they understand that the registration itself is actually the start of a continuous process of review, monitoring, planning and improvement. As such, once providers have gained CQC registration, it is imperative that they monitor their continued compliance against the CQC’s essential standards; the standards that they had to evidence that they were meeting when registration was awarded.
The CQC provide a number of documents and tools that enable providers to carry out self assessments and monitoring post CQC registration; these all work towards making the monitoring of compliance simple.
The most important tool available is the provider compliance assessment tool which has beendesigned to help providers easily assess how they are meeting the essential standards. This tool is an easy to use assessment aid that ideally providers should incorporate into regular monitoring and review practices, to ensure that compliance is maintained once registration has been granted.
The next resource available to providers is a CQC document entitled ‘The Judgement Framework’. This document is used by CQC staff to determine whether providers are meeting the 16 regulations that relate specifically to quality and safety of care. As this document is readily available to providers, via the CQC website, it is possible for them to check themselves that they have appropriate evidence to demonstrate compliance, both prior to and post registration, and therefore continued monitoring throughout the year becomes a straightforward task.
A further document that can be used to support this continued monitoring is entitled ‘Setting the Bar’, and again this is available via the CQC website. This document again relates to the quality and safety standards but refers more specifically to the quality of evidence required to meet these standards. It also provides guidance on CQC responses if a provider was found not to be complying within a particular area.
The final tool available is the Quality and Risk Profile Tool which allows providers the opportunity to gather all of their CQC related data into one place, which will then be assessed to highlight any potential risk areas that need to be addressed with urgency.
With so many aids available, there is no excuse not to continue to monitor your compliance post registration; in doing so you will not only ensure that you are legally meeting the CQC standards but you will ultimately improve the service that you deliver to patients, visitors and staff.