On the 9th October, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) outlined how it will regulate, inspect and rate care homes and community adult social care in England. 

The CQC has issued documents called 'handbooks', which will help care providers to understand how they will be assessed and rated.

Specialist teams, including trained members of the public (Experts by Experience), will inspect services, unannounced, against what matters most to the people who use them; is the service safe, caring, effective, responsive to their needs, and well-led? A rating of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate will be given so that the public has clear information to help them make choices about their care.

CQC has issued one handbook covering its regulation of residential adult social care (care homes, with and without nursing) and another covering its regulation of community adult social care (including services that care for people in their own homes). During inspection visits, teams will consider whether these are services that they would be happy for someone they love and care for to use.

In response to people’s feedback during the consultation, the CQC:

  • Will further develop its 'Provider Information Returns' with an online system so that care providers can submit information about their services to the CQC continuously
  • Has both reduced the number of 'key lines of enquiry' that its inspection teams will use to guide them on their visits and reviewed their language, so that they reflect current practice, do not use jargon and are fully focused on people who use services
  • Has reviewed the descriptions of its ratings so that they are clearer and use plain English. Also, the CQC has strengthened its descriptions of 'Outstanding' care so that it sets a high but achievable bar and will recognise services that are innovative, creative, and dynamic
  • Will publish guidance on the use of surveillance for health and adult social care providers, as well as for members of the public, to help them make decisions about its potential use. CQC expects to publish this guidance at the end of the month