Thought leadership: All change at the CQC

By David Lynes, CEO & Founder of Unique IQ

We’ve recently updated our popular guide to the CQC and technology – ‘Outstanding home care’. And since our last edition it’s all change in care tech, and indeed at the CQC.

After years of only vague interest, the UK government is now pushing for 80% of social care providers to have digital records by March 2024. To facilitate this, £25 million has been made available to Integrated Care Systems to support the adoption of technologies that can transform care, alongside the expanding purchasing framework for digital care records systems.

Meanwhile, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has finally revealed details of major changes to the way it works, in order to deliver on its ambitious new strategy, which kicked in during 2021.

So what are the key changes that home care providers need to be aware of?

First up, there’s a new single assessment framework. This will cover all types of services and sectors, meaning the same rules for all care providers. The framework has been shaped around what matters most to people who use health and social care services, along with their families.

Secondly, new quality statements will replace the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs). Expressed as “we statements”, they are designed to model how care providers need to act to deliver high-quality, person-centred care. 5-9 quality statements will now sit underneath the five key questions, which will remain the same: Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-led.

The third big change is that ratings can now be changed at any time. Inspections remain a vital tool, but they are no longer the only source of information when assessing a service. New information can change a rating, with the CQC collecting a much broader range of data from care providers, national data sets and other sources. What this means in practice is more flexible and frequent assessments, moving away from a rigid inspection schedule.

Six new evidence categories will be introduced as a way of organising all this information. The categories are: people’s experiences; feedback from staff and leaders; feedback from partners; observation; processes; and, outcome measures. Evidence scoring will be applied to make judgements more structured and consistent, with shorter and simpler reports that display the most up-to-date quality assessment.

Lastly, the four-point rating system is staying the same. Care providers will continue to be marked as Inadequate, Requires improvement, Good or Outstanding in each of the five key question areas, as well as overall.

A new guide to get ahead

In our third issue of ‘Outstanding home care’, we’ve included an update on these changes at the Care Quality Commission, alongside a review of how Unique IQ’s technology continues to address the CQC’s five key questions, outlining how technology can both support – and evidence – the delivery of Outstanding care.

Download 'Outstanding home care'

Want to know more about technology and the CQC? Check out our new CQC hub.

Or if you want to read more articles from David – head over to our thought leadership hub.