Posted by Nicola Radcliffe, Senior Associate
Spotlight on care home performance
The social care sector is rarely out of the headlines and this week more column inches have been dedicated to a new report on care home performance, carried out by the charity Independent Age. It analyses published CQC data on care homes rated under the relatively new Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate inspection system.
Facts and figures
As of January 2017, over 90% of the country’s 16,000 homes have been inspected under the new regime. The report suggests that over 25% of homes are “poor performers” – those classified as Requires Improvement or Inadequate – and paints a dim view of the apparent postcode lottery of care standards across the country, pointing out particular concerns for the North West, where 33.6% of home are classed as poor performers, compared with London homes where only 20.3% have been rated in the bottom two categories.
However, what the report fails to address is the severity of the CQC’s new inspection regime and the robust way in which these ratings are reviewed and applied. Many providers rated Requires Improvement or Inadequate are likely to have been criticised for failing to meet the standards required in their administrative and reporting procedures but may have been rated Good in other areas such as ‘safe’ and ‘caring’.
In reality, there were only a fraction more homes rated Outstanding (1%) than there were rated Inadequate (2.2%) and the vast majority of the 14,475 homes considered by the report are rated Good (73.3%).
The focus on the report is those rated as poor performers and this serves to highlight the importance of achieving a Good or Outstanding rating to protect reputation and ultimately ensure the long term success of the business. We have expertise with assisting providers with all aspects of regulation, including factual accuracy challenges, responding to warning notices and assisting with any follow up enforcement actions to get the rating improved immediately or following re-inspection.
The positive news for providers is that, where providers are prepared to work hard and commit to making some changes and working closely with the CQC, issues can be resolved and ratings are being re-considered. We have recently assisted with factual accuracy challenges and have achieved success with uplifting sections of the report from Inadequate to Requires Improvement.
In our recent blog, we have considered the CQC’s plans for regulation and the changes that providers can expect to see. What we do know for certain is that robust inspection is here to stay and, while the care sector remains in the spotlight, reports focussing on the negatives will be more prevalent than those highlighting the successes in the sector.
If you need advice on CQC registration, challenging CQC inspection reports or enforcement action, please contact Nicola Cutler on:
01225 730171 Email us
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