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In a blog published in May 2021, the Care Quality Commission provided an update on what it is doing to transform the way it regulates services for people with learning disabilities and autism.

Looking at all services, from hospitals to care homes and supported living, the CQC aims to improve the way it registers, monitors and inspects services to ensure that the care people receive is good.

As the lead for transformation, Debbie Ivanova, Deputy Chief Inspector of adult social care, explained that the CQC will focus on three key areas to make it happen. Most importantly, focusing on how these services make a difference in people lives.

Three key areas for the transformation of care for people with learning disabilities and autism:

  • Making sure they only register the right services
  • Making sure they support services to improve and take the right action where they don’t
  • Making sure they influence the improvement of pathways and wider healthcare of people with a learning disability and autistic people

What has the CQC done so far in the way it regulates it regulates services for people with learning disabilities and autism?

  • Completed three pilot inspections using its new methodology
  • Visited services at telling touch points in people’s daily life, such as their time to eat, or go to bed, or when a staff handover is taking place
  • Spending more time speaking to people who use services and their families
  • Using more specialist Experts by Experience who are helping the CQC to better understand the culture of a service
  • Introduced the use of the Quality of Life Tool on inspections – a tool that looks at how well people’s care plans are delivered in practice.

What’s next?

The CQC state that its purpose is about more than just inspections – and it will continually monitor and gather information, especially from people, families and advocates. So that it can act earlier if changes are needed.

It will also use evidence from the LeDeR reports and the data about Annual Health Checks to improve the questions asked on all inspection and engagement activity.

What we are doing to support services that care for those with autism

In 2018, Autism Together began working in partnership with Unique IQ, developing our current IQ:careplanner software to create a customised programme called SIP.

Autism Together say: “The development team are always very helpful and work with us to ensure our requirements are met, with a willingness to develop the system to meet our needs. When we urgently need something sorting, it always gets done.”

One of the main goals for Autism Together was to link client diaries, staff rotas, staff absences (including annual leave, sickness and unauthorised leave) and staff overtime into one place. Thanks to Unique IQ’s development of IQ:careplanner, the new system brought all of this information together. The team at Autism Together now spend considerably less time on duplicating data, manual processes and correcting errors.