What is a CQC inspection?
The Care Quality Commission inspects care in hospitals, care homes, dentists, GP practices and other services, including those provided in people’s own homes, and their findings are published on their website and in their inspection reports.
Most health and social care providers are inspected every year or every other year and the CQC re-inspect services that aren’t meeting government standards, or where there are concerns about poor care. All of the inspections are unannounced unless there is a good reason for the CQC to let the service know they are coming.
During an inspection the inspectors:
- Ask people about their experiences of receiving care.
- Talk to care staff.
- Check that the right systems and processes are in place.
- Look for evidence that the service isn’t meeting government standards.
Sometimes the inspectors are accompanied by an Expert by Experience (a person who has experience of receiving care) who also talks to patients.
Types of inspections
There are three types of inspections which may be carried out:
- Scheduled: these are unannounced inspections that focus on a minimum of five of the government standards, and they’re also tailored to the type of care that is provided at the service.
- Responsive: these are unannounced inspections that are carried out where there are concerns about poor care.
- Themed: these inspections focus on specific standards of care or care services.
The inspectors judge whether or not services are meeting the government standards. If the service is not meeting the standards, the inspector will decide whether there is a minor, moderate, or major impact on people who use it, and they may decide to take Enforcement action.
You can see whether or not a care service is meeting the government standards by visiting its profile page on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk. The standards are grouped under five headings, with a green tick or a grey cross beside it, which is updated every time a new report is published.