Since 1968 care homes have been inspected twice a year with one announced and one unannounced inspection. Since 2002 there have been 4 different regulators, the Local Authorities, Care Standards Commission (CSC), Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). All these bodies have used different inspection criteria and methodology which the sector has had to adapt.
Since 2014, CQC have changed their inspection criteria and the way they regulate three times, the latest in April this year. CQC have also recently announced that they are changing the frequency of their inspections for care homes that are rated good or outstanding from annually to within 30 months, for homes rated ‘requires improvement’ to annually and for homes rated ‘inadequate’ to 6 monthly.
As CQC inspections are always unannounced, a care home rated as good, has to deliver perfect outcomes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the next 2.5 years. If a home drops its rating to ‘requires improvement’ at the next CQC inspection the following can happen:
- There is no independent appeals process
- If a home has a rating of ‘requires improvement’ for a second time, they are automatically rated ‘inadequate’
- CQC are able to enforce large fines
- The local Authorities stop placing clients
- The home’s rating with a link to the CQC report must be put on the home page of their website
- Their CQC certificate must be placed in a prominent position on entry to the home
- Negative local press coverage
- Increase in insurance premiums
- Solicitors Fees
- Banks become worried and review their loan criteria
- Consultancy fees
There is no practical support from CQC for homes to improve, unlike the NHS. Once a home’s CQC rating is ‘requires improvement’, there is a possibility that CQC will take enforcement action against the home within the year. The stress of a poor rating affects everyone in the home, including the providers, managers, staff, residents and their families. The vulnerable residents are the ones who suffer the most, since they live in fear of losing their home.
We at RDB Star Rating believe that we can help alleviate many of the challenges that the Social Care Sector is currently facing. If you are interested in finding out more about the RDB Scheme, you can get in touch or complete our Expression of Interest Form under no obligation.