CQC – Compliance With Quality Outcomes and Infection Control
History; – Since 2006 when the then commission (CSCI) published the ‘Inspecting for Better Lives”, all care providers require to submit an annual quality assurance assessment (AQAA), based on the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for adult social care. This process was the basis by which care providers could report their compliance to the standards, to promote their areas of improvement, and generally wave their flag.
The submitted AQAA report was then reviewed by the care commission, used as the basis for the next unannounced inspection, from which a report would be generated, a star rating given and publication on the commissions’ website for all to see.
This was the first time care providers were required to formally audit their services using a “Systematic” self-assessment quality assurance review process. Providers without a system, or not working towards a system, could fail their inspection, with the inspection results published on the internet. Failing could and still spells commercial disaster for the business.
During 2010, CSCI became the “Care Quality Commission” (CQC), requiring all adult care providers to re-register with themselves. The national minimum standards are now replaced by 28 quality outcomes, CQC have seen an increases in the scope of their responsibilities with a reduction in their staff is no more, being replaced by the “Provider Compliance Assessment” as the measure of service providers compliance against the 28 new CQC quality outcomes.
Within these 28 outcomes are 16 core outcomes focusing on the direct care given to Service Users. To ensure compliance with these outcomes, (specifically the 16 core outcomes), providers need to have in place policy statements that confirm their commitment to achieve these outcomes, that they have in place an audit system that allows them to review their activities against the outcomes and where there are shortfalls, appropriate actions for improvement are taken. A year end Provider Compliance Assessment will then be submitted annually to CQC, being the replacement of AQQA.
INFECTION PREVENTION & CONTROL
Within the 16 core quality outcomes, outcome Number 8 Cleanliness & Infection Control is seen by CQC as an outcome demanding a very high focus. To this end, The Social Care Act 2008 which is currently used to measure “Health Care” will now be using the same framework to measure “Social Care”
The Act has 10 criteria for compliance. CQC state; that a “Proportionate” approach will be taken when inspecting social care and that the same standards used in healthcare will not apply. However, this proportionate approach is totally reliant on the interpretation of the Act by person who inspects the service. Already a number of Care Associations have represented their members where instances of inappropriate assessments have been experienced. We suggest that if you experience such issues, that you contact your local Care Association to enable these issues to be recorded and shared.
Some confusion exists as many providers are questioning if their existing policies and procedures still apply, or are they in need of amendment.
To comply with the Social Care Act providers need to have the following in place; Working policies that include specific aims, who is responsible for IPC, with ideally an organisation chart, responsibilities included in job descriptions, details of the training undertaken, how training is monitored and assessed, how policies are communicated, understood and agreed, that a formal audit system is in place, how these audis review the actual day to day activities, that an ongoing improvement programme can be demonstrated. This, together with an annual report submitted annually to confirm compliance with the various criterion.
ADMINISTRATION & SUPPORT
To help providers through this maze, MercaCare have available the following support systems;
CQC New outcomes Audit Tool – A quality audit tool to review in detail each quality outcome, to measure your activity against that outcome, thereby identifying where improvements can be made, while at the same time creating documentation that can be used directly into your year-end “Providers Compliance Assessment”