The CQC, Care Quality Commission is an independent regulator of health and social care in England. Since the last year, CQC has been closely watched by governmental adult social care providers over their new strategy for regulation, inspection, and monitoring of adult care services.
It is those 5 KLOE, Key Lines of Enquiry that ensure effective, safe, and high-quality of the elderly. The CQC changed the way it regulates and monitors care by implementing these standards and outlining changes that healthcare providers will incorporate as well as introducing new initiatives.
The way CQC works is by releasing ratings for organizations that work for quality care to help the public choose which organization provides the best care. The ratings are on a Likert scale, starting from outstanding, good, requires improvement, to inadequate.
The process of highlighting good practices and experiences of people who use social care is now being done through a set of 5 key questions that social care inspectors use to help establish whether a service is providing a high standard of care that is required of them.
What are the 5 CQC KLoE Standards?
The CQC center their inspections around things that matter to people. They ask 5 key questions about the service before rating it in any way to set a standard.
- Are they SAFE? This means whether you are protected from abuse and avoidable harm.
- Are they EFFECTIVE? Has the service provided you with effective care, treatment, and support to achieve good outcomes? It should help you maintain a certain quality of life.
- Are they CARING? Caring is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the social service organization. This question asks whether the staff and management treat you with kindness, compassion, and dignity.
- Are they RESPONSIVE? to people’s needs? An organization needs to be receptive to the people it is providing care for. The service exists to meet your needs; thus, this is an important question to ask.
- Are they WELL LED? Every organization or service has a hierarchical structure and management that make sure it is providing high-quality care according to your specific needs. It has an attitude of helping, learning, and working towards innovation, promoting open and fair culture.
How does CQC use its 5 key questions in their inspections?
While these questions seem rather simple, they are further divided into sub-questions, called the Key Lines of Enquiry. When carrying out inspections, CQC uses these to help decide what needs focus in a particular situation. This is where these sub-questions come in handy.
The inspection team can look at the risk management aspect to understand whether the service is safe or the success rate to identify its effectiveness. Having standard questions ensures that the CQC is consistent in its effort to rate the best services you can use and focus on areas of utmost importance.
How do KLoEs work?
There is a set of mandatory KLoEs that address the key priorities of every service and four other KLoEs that determine the quality and identify risks. Before any inspectors visit the site, they select KLoEs specific to the organization they intend to use after going through the information provided by people who use the service, stakeholders, and providers themselves.
At the site visit, inspectors indicate which KLoEs they have decided on inspecting and will gather information relevant to those. They do so by talking to service users, visitors, and staff. Observation of care being given is also part of the protocol, reviewing records and tracking individual care pathways.
Often it is difficult for organizations to show their paperwork or documented evidence to the inspectors because their data collection system is paper-based. It is recommended for organizations to shift to virtual management software for homecare. This will improve their ratings, as documented evidence will be provided and easier for them to find.
Mistakes to avoid when following KLoE
As the criteria for organizations have already been set by CQC, there are mistakes that you can avoid when inspectors visit your workspace.
- Providing documented evidence of individuals under your care can be difficult if you’re not using proper management software.
- Not having robust systems in place to ensure prescriptions are produced, sorted, and kept in accordance with the rules can be questionable to the inspectors. It is also important to have recruitment procedures that are in accordance with the national policy and include criminal record checks.
- If your staff isn’t properly supervised and isn’t trained to meet any kind of needs of the patient.
- If you don’t have a proper system for reporting in place, it is bound to raise ethical concerns, especially if there is no action taken to improve patient care.
- Not ensuring patient safety with risk assessments.
To be able to adhere to the CQC standards, you need to make sure that you’re well aware of the CQC standards. Outline the aims for your organization, publish information and proposals to your staff and patients to ensure maximum transparency.
In addition, make sure you’re taking ample feedback from your patients and incorporating it into newer management models. Remember to keep a record of them so you can analyze and then act on the feedback as well for the purpose of record-keeping.
CQC inspections are not as scary as they sometimes seem; they ask some of the very basic questions that an organization should be following already but help them streamline it more. This ensures that a standard care procedure is being followed by all social services, and the KLoEs become an easy way for an organization to follow already set protocol.