Meetings with CQC – feedback from Lisa Lenton, ARC England Director.

Yesterday, Lisa Lenton, ARC England Director, met with Robert Tovey the Head of Inspections CQC North West and ARC’s relationship contact. Lisa presented some issues raised by our members around inspection, such as inconsistent report writing and tone, when does good become outstanding, and the Care Certificate.

Rob has taken back the concerns discussed and is keen to strengthen a working relationship with us and hear your views. Rob is also keen to get ARC members involved in a few areas. For example, how to capture service users voices more effectively, what constitutes ‘outstanding’ practice and as new service models of care and support are developed how can CQC tailor inspections to reflect the service. All questions we will be putting to you as we move forward. Great to hear that the Commission is eager to engage with us! If you have any inspection concerns or questions let Lisa know and we will gladly take as feedback to Rob and the Trade Association group.

Lisa also attended the CQC Trade Association meeting on 11th November. The key points are summarised below:

• Ratings – Comment was made that the inadequate rating percentage is improving. Still the major fallings sit within the ‘Safe’ and ‘Well-led’ questions. The question with the most positive rating is ‘Caring’. Figures were quoted by service type with Community Social Care showing the best ratings overall – with 73% rated good and 1% outstanding

• Overall ratings up to November 15
– Inadequate – 5%
– Requires improvement – 33.5%
– Good 61%
– Outstanding – 0.5%

• National Customer Service Centre – A presentation was given by Harriet Saunders from the NCSC in Newcastle. Harriet advised the Centre that she is the first point of contact for anyone who wants to contact the CQC. It was stated that 60% of contact is from members of the public. Due to the diverse mix of callers there are six different teams. Harriet went through their work volume – for example, they process 330 registration applications every day, handle approximately 900 calls and 575 items of post are processed.

There is a rigorous quality assurance framework in place within the centre and quality checks are regularly conducted on all interactions handled by NCSC, including call monitoring and coaching sessions, email quality reviews and feedback to agents, and data quality monitoring and reporting. All work is assessed for both accuracy and customer service skills and currently they are on target, achieving the expected standards. Harriet advised that in the new financial year a post call survey will be available at the end of each call to compliment the email surveys that are currently sent. If you have any concerns or feedback to give, do not hesitate to contact CQC via email or by calling 03000 616161.

• Market Oversight update – Market Oversight is a statutory scheme through which CQC assess the financial sustainability of those care organisations that local authorities would find difficult to replace should they fail and become unable to carry on delivering a service. By giving an early warning of likely failure, the scheme will help local authorities to carry out their statutory duty to ensure continuity of care when providers fail. This went live on 6th April this year. An update was given by Stuart Dean, who advised that:
• 44 of the largest providers in England are involved in this programme of work
• There is a specialist panel convened by the Department of Health
• For Home Care – there is a one-off exercise underway to establish completeness of population
• Notifications go directly from CQC to Local Authority

• Skills for Care – Provider survey on safety – a piece of work has been undertaken by Skills for Care and a report is being produced and hopefully will be available soon. The key point so far is that is seems there is a lack of sector consensus on the scope of safety and what it means, and a significant impact on practice. The report findings may help with producing guidance for providers and inspectors going forward.

If you have any questions relating to this or have any issues for us to raise on your behalf please do not hesitate to contact