The Care Quality Commission is the regulatory body for the health and care sector in the UK. They provide proper conduct policies and regulations for best practice in UK care homes. These are extremely important in safeguarding our most vulnerable citizens, so in honour of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we at Wurkplace would like to talk to you about how to protect our elderly and stay CQC compliant.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone sending their parents or grandparents into care.
They want to know they’re putting their elderly in the best possible care. They want to know that their relatives will be with people who are committed to their safety.
Regulations are in place to protect both the elders in care and the caregivers themselves. These regulations help keep care homes running smoothly and minimize the risk to client health and wellbeing, as well as standardizing the overall quality of care.
It’s that simple: Minimize risk.
Unfortunately, there are a myriad of different risks in the care sector.
What Are The Risks?
There are numerous hazards in a care home, so staff must conduct proper risk assessments of:
- Equipment, such as beds, furniture: Are these in proper working order? Are they satisfactory?
- Fire Hazards: Are the fire systems regularly checked and fire marshals properly trained?
- Slips, trips and fall hazards: Are the walkways clear? Is everything stored properly?
- Potential substances which are hazardous to health: Are all hazardous materials kept in their proper places? Are they labelled properly?
- Hygiene and cleanliness standards: Are things cleaned effectively and regularly? Who monitors this?
- Accident Reporting: Are accidents reported properly? Who monitors this?
These risk assessments are standard practice in operating any business, but there are even more risks when caring for individuals.
This is where the CQC come in.
What is the Care Quality Commission?
As stated previously, the CQC is the regulatory body for care homes within the UK. It is their job to ensure top-quality care is given to our vulnerable elders, and they do this by monitoring legislation, embedding regulations, and performing assessments of care homes themselves.
If you own or work at a care home, it is likely that you have been privy to an inspection. There are a few ways to make these run without incident.
Much like a Fire Marshal routinely checks for risks and hazards, so it must be the care workers job to constantly check for ways to improve. You must ask yourself the “Five Questions”.
What Are The Five Questions?
When a representative of the Care Quality Commission visits a care home, they ask five key questions. These questions aim to draw out any potential faults in the care provided by the home. The questions themselves serve as their main lines of inquiry and can be broken down into further questions.
The answer to each question must be evidenced in the practices and policies you have at the care home. Where the results are not clear, additional evidence must be provided.
1. Are they safe?
This question is an attempt to ensure proper care is given to care home tenants, as well as consideration for the safety of its staff. Care Homes must have proper HR and Health & Safety policies in place to ensure that tenants and staff are protected from abuse, corruption, and indignity.
2. Are they effective?
This asks the care home to demonstrate that their care practices produce desired results. Staff retention and quality of life surveys undertaken by tenants can demonstrate this. This is to ensure that the staff and management are operating effectively and with due consideration.
3. Are they caring?
An extension of the first question with an intent to prove that staff members treat tenants with respect and dignity. This question also includes the managerial direction – Does the management of the care home care for their staff and tenants, or are they employing callous tactics to drive business while risking others?
4. Are they responsive?
Another extension of the first question, this question asks if the care home staff adequately responds to their wards’ needs. Are the tenants happy? What about well looked after? Are their needs responded to in a respectful and timely manner?
5. Are they well managed?
The last question concerns the management of the care home in general. What is the environment of the management? Are their decisions conducive to fair, professional, and high-quality care?
If care home staff regularly asks themselves these questions, they will have no problem passing the CQC inspection.
Safeguarding our most vulnerable is not only a legal requirement, but a moral one. It is imperative that care homes have adequate HR and Health & safety policies in place.
The majority of these regulations might seem like common sense to the average person. But Next month, on the 15th of June, is Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This special day hopes to shine a light on the abuse some of our most vulnerable citizens face.
Our goal is to help businesses put these issues into perspective. So, if you work in the care sector and need guidance, or simply want to learn more – Get in touch. You can contact us via our online form, or by phone on: 0330 400 5490