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CQC Framework: Achieving and Proving Compliance in Social Care
Blog //20-02-2024

CQC Framework: Achieving and Proving Compliance in Social Care

by Health and Care, OneAdvanced Public Sector

As you will be aware, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced their new assessment framework rollout at the end of 2023.

The CQC are now in the midst of setting out the new framework to all registered social care providers, local authorities and integrated care systems (ICS) in England;

From 5 December 2023: Assessments of some early adopters in the South East began. Continuing with all providers in the South of England.

From 13 December 2023: Assessments of local authorities started.

From 9 January 2024: Assessments began for providers in London and the East of England.

From 23 January 2024: Assessments of some providers in the North of England and the Midlands went underway.

From 6 February 2024: Assessments started for all providers in the North and the Midlands.

These new assessments are either planned or responsive (if they have received concerning information to spark action), but until the CQC reaches your region, they with continue to assess services using their existing processes.

The CQC has said they will continue to build on their existing methods for collecting evidence, keeping both the five key questions (safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led) and their rating scale (outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate).

So, whilst they will be assessing evidence using a different framework, most of the information will be similar to that previously reviewed and can be gathered both on-site and off-site, including the completion of the Provider Information Return (PIR) questions.

The independent regulator will also be requesting feedback and reviewing how effective this new assessment framework is until the end of June 2024.

Utilising Software to Prove Regulatory Compliance in Social Care

Managing and maintaining regulatory compliance is a constant challenge for social care organisations. And when you’re already feeling the pressure of a busy service, the additional complexities that can stem from proving compliance - particularly when you’re dealing with manual or siloed processes - can feel even more stressful.

This is why software solutions like Care Cloud are designed to help you achieve and evidence regulatory compliance without the struggles that come with insufficient processes.

1. Recording Data

First of all, in order to prove compliance, you need to have accurate records. When your teams are dipping in and out of multiple pieces of software, spreadsheets or rustling through paperwork to record data, it can lead to inaccuracies, duplication or even worse, records being missed entirely.

There will always be a need to record lots of information in social care because vital information that may be needed for proving compliance can occur at almost every step of a process. But it doesn’t have to be an administrative burden. Instead of needing to update important records using inefficient methods, your teams can seamlessly record information when the tools they have are easy to use and immediately accessible.

Having one software solution that encompasses all your care and business needs ensures a single source of truth for your teams to update and review. Cloud-based social care solutions are also accessible at any time so they can record any changes to client care plans at the point of care. This total visibility and ease of access helps to ensure the data being gathered (which will ultimately help you prove your compliance) is both up-to-date and accurate.

2. Reporting Data

Now you need to be able to use the data your teams have recorded to prove your compliance. The CQC for instance, want to see how your service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led as part of their assessment. Or within the new assessment framework, may be looking into people experience, stakeholder feedback and care outcomes.

But often with multiple siloed processes you can be data ‘rich’ but information ‘poor’, so it takes a significant amount of time to collate this evidence. And if you can’t provide evidence for the key questions and quality statements, it can negatively affect the rating and reputation of your organisation.

Modern social care solutions offer real-time updates, so the reports you run are accurate to your current circumstances. Bespoke reporting and dashboards not only provide full visibility of care quality and regulatory compliance, but also the ability to dive down into the records to see exactly where that information has come from.

So, for example, you need to provide evidence of when your service has mitigated risk. You can create a tailored, auditable summary of how the risk was escalated, the workflow followed, and the processes put in place to prevent any further impact. And because you can access these reports at the click of a button, it helps make evidencing compliance quicker and easier.

Care Cloud is our care business management solution for all types and size of care organisation, designed to help you achieve and prove compliance exactly when you need it.

Download our free Care Cloud brochure to discover exactly how dedicated software can enhance your social care organisation!


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