Lisa Lenton, ARC England Director, attended the CQC Trade Association meeting on 9th December. The key points are summarised below for your reference:

Ratings – there has been a slight improvement in the overall Adult Social Care ratings as noted below. It was again raised that the amount of ‘Outstanding’ ratings is disappointingly low and can be very demoralising for providers who feel they do sit within the highest rating but are only awarded ‘Good’. It is still very clear that both the ‘safe’ and ‘well-led’ key questions highlight the greatest inadequate rating specifically. Another interesting point discussed was in regards to the overall ratings by size of care home and domiciliary services. It seems the smaller the service the higher the percentage of ‘Good’ services.

Overall ratings up to December 15
– Inadequate – 4% (from 5%)
– Requires improvement – 33% (slightly down from 33.5%)
– Good 62% (up from 61%)
– Outstanding – 1% (up from 0.5%)

Update on CQC’s Registration KPI – volume and KPI performance of registration processes was discussed. The final information will be publicly available soon once signed off by the CQC’s board.

Rating Reviews – A presentation was given to advise of the role of the review team. A provider may ask for their rating to be reviewed if they feel that the correct process during inspection wasn’t followed. It is not a means to challenge the rating or the judgement if providers simply don’t agree with them, or to submit new evidence. It is purely focused on investigating if the inspection process has not been followed. Although this specialist team is as independent as possible, to offer a fair process, the final recommendations can only be made by CQC as they are accountable for the decision. The team will look to fix the process initially and then start the review from there. It was mentioned that ratings could go down as well as up in some cases, if during a review the team find flaws in the inspectors approach. On average it takes 90 days to complete the review, so far they have received 140 requests to review from Adult Social Care providers. To challenge ratings providers are directed to refer to the Provider Handbook initially. If providers wish to lodge a review request they need to submit their ‘intention web form’ then instructions will be sent on how to request a review.
Providers have a single opportunity to request a review of their inspection ratings. The full request for review must be submitted using our online webform within 15 working days of the report being published.

Intelligent Monitoring (IM)– CQC are planning on publishing their ‘Intelligent Monitoring’ methodology to increase transparency. This document will be available on the CQC website along with a set of FAQ’s. It is noted that the results of IM will NOT be published. The reasons for this include: lack of data coverage across the sector, some information is confidential, some indicators are based on small numbers which could lead to the identification of people who use services and staff working for them.

CQC Provider Survey – has been completed and results are being collated. These will be published publically soon.

Provider Portal roll-out – 10,537 adult social care providers with 1 to 2 locations have been invited to join the Provider Portal, with 4,302 on board to date.
Provide Portal – PIR – CQC are now piloting access to the Provider Information Return via the portal. This is with providers that have already been asked to join the portal and are in the current tranche of providers being asked to complete their PIRs. The format of the PIR remains the same and providers in the pilot will be asked for feedback on their experience. This will then determine the next steps.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Report – CQC have published the sixth annual report on monitoring the DoLS for 2014/2015 and it highlights the continuing variation in the implementation of the DoLS (and wider MCA) by care homes and hospitals.
Examples given include:
1. Variation in relation to training and understanding, and the existence and implementation of policies and processes.
2. Examples of potentially unlawful deprivations of liberty.
3. Low notifications to CQC about DoLS applications and their outcomes. It was mentioned that CQC are aware of the backlogs at Local Authority level.

In response, CQC are calling on providers to take consistent action to address this and highlight the link to good leadership and governance to adhere to responsibilities. In respect of the backlog of applications it was stated that during an inspection, the inspector would be looking to ensure that applications have been made to the local authority even if they have not been advised of an authorisation. The message was clear – providers shouldn’t be put off by their local authority and should ensure they submit applications regardless of the backlog situation.

(NB – Please bear in mind that ARC delivers MCA/DoLS workshops and can support you and your staff teams. Please contact us at or on 01246 555 043 if we can help you. )

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