Skip links

What to expect in a CQC inspection?

When starting a new healthcare provider, one of the most stressful things you have to deal with is CQC inspections. These visits are conducted to ensure that your institution is operating in compliance with the law, and here is what they entail. At HLTH Group, we provide a number of CQC solutions to ensure you are prepared for your next CQC inspection, and for the upcoming changes to the CQC’s assessment framework.

The start of the visit

At the start of every CQC inspection, the inspection team usually meets with the senior staff, and they explain:

• Who the inspection team are
• The purpose and scope of the inspection
• How they will communicate the findings

Gathering evidence

During these visits, inspectors focus on the experience your patients get and the impact that has on their health and wellbeing. The inspection is mainly based on the five key lines of enquiry which aim to prove whether your service is safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led. To do that, they will speak to patients, staff, family members and members of the patient participation group. They will also observe how the staff interacts with the patients to see how well the service responds to the patients’ needs. Because most CQC visits are unannounced, you will not be required to provide any paperwork prior to the inspection, but they might ask for it during or after, so always have it ready.

As mentioned already, there are currently two types of inspections, although these may change in line with upcoming CQC framework changes:

Comprehensive inspection

It takes an in-depth view of the entire service, and it addresses all five key CQC questions. The inspection takes a day or two to complete, after which you are given a rating. If the inspectors believe there is a risk to the patients’ safety and wellbeing, that could negatively affect your overall rating.

Focused inspection

Focused inspections are often conducted as a follow up to a previous visit and are therefore more targeted. Inspectors do not look at all five questions but rather one well-led key question. That said, they can expand it to a comprehensive inspection if new concerns arise.

The best way to get through any CQC inspection is preparedness. We can help you prepare for your next CQC inspection and acquaint you and your team with what is to come.