Changes to the CQC regulatory framework: preparing for the next stage

Changes to the CQC regulatory framework: preparing for the next stage

The CQC has announced that its new assessment approach for care providers will not be implemented until later in 2023. Now is the time to make sure your organisation is fully prepared. Charlotte Rowe, Care Practice Manager at Markel Care Practitioners, explains how organisations can start preparing now.

In March 2022, the Care Quality Commission announced major changes to the framework it uses to regulate health and social care providers, along with a timeline for their rollout. The timeline indicated that a pilot scheme running in the latter half of 2022 would conclude by the end of the year, with the CQC then reporting on its learnings early in 2023 with a view to a full rollout shortly after.

Shortly before Christmas, however, the CQC announced that after “a full review of [its] timeline”, the adoption of the new assessment approach would not happen until later in 2023. Instead, it said, it would spend the spring making sure the technology needed for the new framework is in place and ready for launch. In the summer, it plans to launch its new online provider portal, and towards the end of the year, it will “gradually start to carry out assessments in the new way.”

As a result, care providers now have longer than expected to prepare for the new framework. Using this time effectively is important. So, what can be done?

Getting ready

Using the extended timeframe effectively enables providers to fully prepare for the proposed changes and embed these into organisational systems, knowledge and governance. This will ensure providers can achieve positive inspection outcomes as the CQC moves to the new framework and inspections format.

The transition from KLOEs to Quality Statements should be tackled through an organisational understanding of how these statements can be achieved, including a review of any processes, audits, governance and practice which currently reflect the KLOE framework. As a new framework is introduced, proactive understanding and clear processes will ease the impact of the changes and assist in evidencing the quality statements as part of ongoing inspection.

In preparation for the Single Assessment Framework, organisations should keep up to date with the changes planned, subscribe to the CQC’s bulletins, and implement a clear organisational strategy which considers the impact and implementation of these changes on their staff, processes, and governance. Consideration should be given to the impact of change, and time to embed the new framework and inspection schedules into current practices. A clear strategy to support, train and transition will ensure providers and their workforces are prepared and effectively manage these changes.

New categories for evidence collection will have a significant impact on inspection outcomes. Providers should consider how they can start preparing for these now, and this should include training and support for those being consulted as part of this process.

Data collection is a key aspect of the new framework, and the importance of the provider portal is shown in the CQC’s current timeline. Whether using e-systems or paper-based documents, providers are advised to consider how their documentation will reflect the quality statements and act as evidence under the new framework. Adding this to your organisational strategy will allow for you and your team to be prepared when the framework goes live, as well as minimising impact during this period of transition.

Getting support

We understand that every provider is different, but planned and proactive preparation for the upcoming changes is key.

MCP understands the challenges that providers are currently facing, and the potential impact of preparing for the new framework. We’ve been working with providers to support the implementation of these changes for several months.

MCP can offer a range of bespoke solutions to support organisations, including:

  • CQC framework Training: considering the changes proposed by the CQC and what these mean in practical terms for providers.
  • Inspection preparation training: supporting staff and managers so they can feel confident throughout the new inspection process.
  • Quality statement gap analysis: aiding organizations in understanding where they need to make changes and assessing their readiness for the new framework.
  • Strategic workshops: helping providers to create a clear organizational strategy which covers practical planning, the impact of change, and resource management.

To find out more about how we can help, click here.