Lisa Lenton, ARC England Director, attended the CQC Trade Association meeting on 10th August. The key points are summarised below for your reference:

• Ratings – there has been a marginal change overall in Adult Social Care ratings. The shift is however a positive one with improvements across the board. Details listed below:

The current overall ratings by service type were presented up to 5th August 2016. Community social care having the best ratings (1% Inadequate, 16% Requires Improvement, 82% Good, 1% Outstanding). The least well performing continue to be Nursing homes (4% Inadequate, 37% Requires Improvement, 59% Good, 1% Outstanding). Unfortunately, no up to date data in respect of Learning Disability services specifically was available this month. We were advised that the figures given at the previous couple of meetings were not to be a regular reporting stream. However, following discussion it was agreed that this will be produced for us on a quarterly basis.

The data continues to show that ‘small’ nursing and residential homes performed best from an inspection point of view.

Domiciliary Care Agency ratings – the ratings pattern follow that of nursing and residential homes, as in the larger the provision the less favourable the ratings.

Overall ratings Adult Social Care up to 5th August 2016:
– Inadequate – 2%
– Requires improvement – 26%
– Good 71%
– Outstanding – 1%

The issue of a very small percentage of providers being rated as ‘Outstanding’, was again raised. It was mentioned that the ratings overall are steadily improving. This may be because CQC have initially focused on inspecting those services where there have been risks/issues identified, and so re-inspection ratings have improved.

• Guidance on visitors’ rights in residential adult social care services:

A brief Q&A guide has been developed from regulations that relate to the rights of people to be visited in residential services. It also contains information on lasting power of attorney, potential restrictions that a provider can place on a visitor and peoples’ rights to complain.

This draft paper will be ‘tested’ on CQC public and private online communities and there will be further engagement with the co-production group prior to publication on the CQC website late September/early October.

• The ‘Outstanding’ tool:

Guidance is being designed to help both inspectors and providers to better understand what it takes to be ‘Outstanding’ for each of the 5 key questions. It contains a summary of the characteristics for ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ mapped to the KLOE for each question. The guide will give examples of practice that meet the ‘outstanding’ criteria under each key question.

The next steps for this guidance is to share with inspectors, providers, previously rated ‘outstanding’ providers and other stakeholders.

At the meeting we looked through the handout example given and offered feedback to the CQC team. We were all keen to ensure that the guidance clearly states that the examples given are not seen as prescriptive. Providers will need to look at how to potentially replicate, scale up, and adapt the examples to their own setting. Due to resources, there will not be examples in the guidance that cover every social care setting and so providers will need to flexibly look at how the example given could apply to them. And remember also that the document will provide guidance only; the examples given shouldn’t simply be copied. Further information will be released in due course.

• CQC digital development:

The access to the Provider Portal is being expanded. Actions to be taken include:
• Those providers with 1-2 locations, 10000+ who haven’t yet created accounts will be re-invited in September/October received invitations to set up an account.
• 3 – 5 locations providers – 800 were invited and nearly 50% of these now have an account
• 6 – 10 location providers – 400 providers in this category will be invited in September/October.
• 10+ location providers – technical work to allow this cohort to be invited will be carried out in late 2016.

There will be ongoing work to encourage more users of the portal. It was stated that one of the benefits of using it is that data submitted through the portal is twice as likely to be accepted digitally than that submitted via email or physical documentation, as there is less room for error.

CQC are now conducting a review of their existing systems, for example, the new registration system and PIR. The aim is to move the PIR to being a live document that can be regularly updated by providers, giving CQC live intelligence.

There has been ongoing research with providers plus one to one interviews and this will continue. The materials will also be developed in line with the ‘shared view of quality’ methodology to minimise duplication for providers.

If you would like to get involved in detailed research so CQC can understand your needs in line with this initiative then please email CQC directly:

Please remember, ARC England is there to represent you at the trade association meetings! We regularly attend, so do let us know of any inspection issues or concerns and we will feed these directly to the meetings and get back to you!