What are the upcoming changes to CQC regulation in 2023?
The Care Quality Commission has announced changes to its regulatory framework in April 2023. This means that care home owners, managers and providers will need to be aware of what to expect for meeting compliance targets and inspections. Expert social care consultants, Fulcrum Care, summarise the news.
Why is CQC regulation changing?
There have been a number of challenges in the health and care sector that have presented problems for how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) operates. These include the coronavirus pandemic, recruitment issues, occupancy rates and a lack of budgetary support for care homes. This has had an effect on care homes, as well as the CQC, with pressure to adapt against new guidance and recommendation.
As care home visitation restrictions have been tighter due to Infection Prevention Control (IPC) policies, this has meant it has been harder to conduct inspections, with a higher demand for personal reporting from care homes.
How is the CQC regulatory framework changing?
The CQC will be taking a data-driven and people-led approach in its new framework. Where it had previously relied on Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs), they will now be assessing care homes on:
- 5 questions on resident expectation for the care service
- Quality accountability from the care provider
- Evidence and quality indicators for resident and staff outcomes
- Comparable data from Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local authorities
All guidance, recommendations and reports will also be collected in one digital platform, creating more unified and accessible communication between the CQC and care providers.
How will this affect how care providers report to the CQC?
The shift to a data-driven framework will allow for smarter and more dynamic regulation of care homes, which can provide accurate and appropriate response based on trends, learning and improvement. It will also see a shift away from the traditional Ratings characteristics for health and care services, in favour of scores decided by evidence found, assessments and inspections.
Quality and risk assessments will gather the evidence needed for whether inspections are necessary, with staff and resident feedback informing where improvements may be required.
How can care homes prepare for the change?
As social care professionals, we recommend the following tips for care homes to be best placed for the CQC’s 2023 approach:
- Adopt a Quality Management System, to log and track accurate audit reports
- Train staff to begin using digital systems in place of manual paper-based methods, as this will make it easier for the CQC to assess evidence
- Introduce more communication and feedback sharing between staff and residents, as this will inform a larger focus of the new framework
- Consider approaching an experienced care home consultant to help manage the shift from a third-party perspective for your care home.
If you’re a care home owner, manager or provider who needs expert advice on how to prepare for the CQC regulation changes, book a free 15-minute 121 with Fulcrum Care. Our team of social care consultants have the most up-to-date knowledge of compliance, auditing, social care training and 24/7 support to help improve your care service and commercials.