CQC Compliance - A Team Approach

January 21, 2017

CQC Compliance – A Team Responsibility

Day after day in practice, I hear team members saying ‘The CQC inspector will not want to speak to me, I’m only a receptionist’ or ‘I don’t have a role to play within CQC as I’m not GDC registered’. How wrong these people are!

The New Regime

Robert Francis QC’s report into the extensive failings within the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust catalyzed major changes in the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection regime. The changes came into force in April 2015 and have had a significant impact on dental practices. Research is showing that a significant amount of dental practices are failing their inspections, mainly within the Well-led key line of enquiry (KLOE). Drilling down into this KLOE reveals that practices do not have good leadership, good management or good governance systems in place. This can then have a knock on effect to other KLOE’s with Safe? usually being the next one to be breached.

It Starts at the Top

Any provider or registered manager with CQC has a legal responsibility to ensure that Fundamental Standards are being adhered to in their practice. These responsible individuals have to demonstrate that they are ‘fit and proper’ for their roles and that their employees are also fit and proper people. So, recruitment processes and staff development are two of the CQC’s top priorities. CQC will be looking for hard evidence that appraisals are being held annually and that each team member, even dentists and the Practice Principal, have a personal training plan. Regular satff meetings and good communication is also a must.

Communication is Key

Within the new inspection regime, any team member can be pulled aside and interviewed, whether they are GDC registered or not. Every team member is expected to have an ‘intelligent awareness’ of practice policies and procedures and of quality assurance systems within their practice. Regular staff training meetings are ideal for educating the team in compliance and legislation and how it should be reflected in the way that they work day to day. A register should be taken for every training meeting as evidence that team members have been given the required information. Absentees should be briefed to the same level and they should also sign to say that they have had the update. Ultimately, registers show that you have met your professional and legal obligation to inform your team and help to demonstrate that your practice is well-led.

Team Responsibilities

I have just pulled out a few examples from The Providers’ Handbook to demonstrate that not only do the CQC’s requirements pertain to clinical staff but also the administrative staff too.

Safe?   Staff understand their responsibilities to raise concerns, to record safety incidents, concerns and near misses, and report them internally and externally where appropriate. 

Effective? Staff understand and apply the legislation and guidance, including the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Children’s Acts 1989 and 2004. 

Caring?  Staff take time to interact with patients and those close to them in a respectful, appropriate and considerate manner. Staff recognise and respect people’s diversity, values and human rights. 

Responsive?  Appointment times are scheduled to ensure people’s needs and preferences (where appropriate) are met. 

Well-led?  Candour, openness, honesty and transparency and challenges to poor practice are the norm. 

      As you can see, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that KLOEs and Fundamental Standards are adhered to.

Do You Need the Knowledge to Relay to Your Team?

If you are a Practice Manager or Practice Principal and are unsure of the up to date legislation that you need to be relaying to your team then our free seminar is perfect for you. The seminar gives a full up date on compliance, employment law and Health and Safety requirements and gives you 6 hours of free verifiable CPD. Don’t miss it!