The CQC suspended routine inspections back in March 2020 on account of Coronavirus. As things currently stand, it is unclear when this type of inspection will resume in the care sector. However, non-routine inspections have continued and there is evidence to suggest that these have increased in frequency.
As anticipated, these inspections have occurred largely in response to concerns, but these concerns are not always solely related to the providers’ management of Coronavirus risks.
Our legal partners have reported that the frequency of such inspections appears to have increased, which may be due to additional resource. Before March, resource had to be apportioned between routine and non-routine inspections, whereas now they are able to focus solely on the non-routine. This is likely to be the case for some time, as the CQC may not resume routine inspections in the care sector until next year.
Providers may think they are unlikely to receive a non-routine inspection, but you can never guarantee that a disillusioned employee or member of a service-user’s family won’t report you. Whether the report is justified or not, the CQC will carry out a non-routine inspection.
It is also reported that the upturn in non-routine inspections has resulted in more providers receiving notices, under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Typically, these notices either vary the terms of a provider’s registration or even instigate an urgent closure of the business.
To avoid this kind of CQC enforcement action, care providers must ensure compliance with all of their legal obligations, especially when concerning the safety of the people receiving their services.
How we can help
AHR Consultants has extensive experience of providing safety compliance services to the healthcare sector. We can help support providers by keeping them ahead of their compliance responsibilities and where necessary, take measures to bring them back into compliance.