What is the CQC and why is it important for live-in care?
The CQC, or the Care Quality Commission, is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. This means they determine acceptable standards of care and monitor care providers to ensure they are adequately meeting the needs of the people they care for.
The team at the CQC undertakes a comprehensive inspection of all registered care providers with reference to five different standards. They review the safety of the people who are in their care and the effectiveness of the treatment and care they are providing.
They also look at how caring and responsive they are – will they treat you with compassion, dignity and respect, and will they be quick to respond to your needs?
And finally, they assess leadership. Is the care provider well managed, with a good governance structure in place to assure quality of care and consistency?
Each registered care provider is given a rating so that they may be compared to other providers against these fundamental standards. And they’re also provided with feedback so they can understand what is required in order to improve.
Importantly, the CQC are also in a position that they can take action against any care agencies, adult social or domiciliary care providers that don’t measure up.
Why does care regulation matter?
It can be hard to make choices about care and gauge how well a care service provider will be able to meet your needs if you can only look at a website or call them for a chat. Because they’re obviously going to tell you they’re the best.
That’s why it’s important to have an impartial judge who can offer some kind of objective comparison for you.
But that’s not all…
Safety and protection of the vulnerable
By nature of the job, carers are often required to look after some of the most vulnerable people in society. That makes it even more important that there is a body in place to advocate for their needs and put in place protective measures to ensure they’re well looked after and well treated and not at risk of harm.
As live-in carers work one-on-one with the people in their care, it’s vital that they are fully trained and overseen. Checking whether your chosen provider is registered with the CQC is a great way to ensure that they will be held to high standards of quality.
The ability to give medication
There are certain things that carers will only be able to do if they are registered with the CQC. One of these is to administer medication.
Non-medically trained CQC-registered carers can’t give injections but they can be on hand to offer timely reminders and hand over pills and water where necessary. Without oversight and regulation from the CQC, care providers will not legally be allowed to do this.
Permission to perform personal care
Offering personal care such as bathing, toileting and dressing is something that requires training to ensure it’s carried out in the most caring and dignified way possible.
By regulating this aspect of care, the CQC can make sure that standards are maintained, and the more intimate elements of personal care are dealt with respectfully.
If your carer isn’t CQC registered, they can’t legally assist with personal care tasks.
Peace of mind about the provider you’ve chosen
The CQC website displays a database of all care providers that are registered with them, offering up-to-date information about their rating and services. If you choose a provider from the CQC’s list, you can be certain that they are being held to high standards and confident that they will offer effective care.
Promedica24 and the CQC
Promedica24 enjoys a good relationship with the CQC. In fact, we were one of the first live-in carer providers to be fully regulated by them. Many other providers have opted not to seek registration.
All Promedica care was rated as Good by the CQC in our first review in 2018. While this was a great start, we have done a huge amount of work to put in place all the suggestions they made in order that when our re-evaluation comes around again, we’ll be able to achieve an Outstanding rating.
The CQC is currently restructuring and changing the way it looks at care providers. We’ve been attending online training sessions run by CQC themselves, in order that we can better understand current best practice and what they’ll be looking for from us in the future.
We’ve also created a guidebook that will be continuously updated, in order to communicate any new recommendations to our carers. We will also provide additional training as and when necessary.