CQC Inspections and what they mean for your Local Authority Adult Social Care Department

After a 13 year break, Care Quality Commission (CQC) are due to begin inspecting Adult Social Care departments again within the next few weeks.

There have been many calls from Local Authorities to delay this to help them deal with the current pressures on services, including severe shortages of staff, growing waiting times for assessments and care and high levels of delayed discharges from hospital, but these calls have gone unanswered by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).

What does this mean for your Local Authority?

Some may be surprised to hear that CQC are reintroducing these inspections, the truth is, the government, through the Health and Care Act 2022, have placed a duty on CQC to complete these inspections to report on Council’s performance of their Care Act 2014 duties.

This legislation allows for the DHSC to intervene and, if necessary, direct improvements at any Authority that is deemed to be failing in meeting its duties.

What this means for your Local Authority, is that if you are not in a position where you can deliver on your duties, you risk the DHSC coming in and potentially making significant changes to your organisation, whether you want these to happen or not.

What is the assessment process?

Currently, there is not a fixed assessment framework, and this has made it challenging for Local Authorities to prepare fully for these inspections. What we know from the projects carried out in Manchester and Hampshire in 2022, is that CQC assessed four main themes:

  • Working with people, including assessing needs and supporting people to live healthier lives.
  • Providing support, encompassing care provision, integration and continuity of care, and partnership working.
  • Ensuring safety, incorporating safeguarding and safe systems, pathways and transitions.
  • Leadership and workforce, including improvement, innovation, governance, management and sustainability.

Within each of these themes, it is then proposed that there will be a number of quality statements, setting out what councils should be seeking to achieve, and what people should expect of the support they receive.

More information will be communicated by CQC at Community Care’s Festival of Learning 2023 with Mary Cridge (Director of Adult Social Care) speaking on 27th March at 3:30pm.

How can Local Authorities keep on top of their Care Act duties?

The old adage of creativity and problem solving really comes to the forefront when trying to answer this question. The main issue facing Local Authorities is a severe lack of staffing, making it impossible to keep on top of Care Act duties, and there is only so much creativity in solving this problem internally.

Luckily for Local Authorities, Socia Partners are able to support, with bespoke and creative solutions to many problems that are currently being faced within Adult Social Care at the moment. Whether your annual reviews are behind, your initial assessment waiting list is growing, or whether you want to explore the options around CHC projects and cost savings, we can help.

Contact us to discuss your Local Authority’s needs further and see how a partnership with us can help you with you CQC inspections.

Keep an eye out for updated articles on CQC Adult Social Care Department inspections when more information becomes available.


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