Are you ready for the new style CQC inspections?

So this week I have been involved in doing some training with an HR team in an NHS Trust to help them think about how they might prepare for a CQC inspection. The changes to the CQC regime, moving to a ‘key lines of enquiry’ approach rather than a ‘yes/no – have we met the standards’ approach shifts the emphasis of the inspection and will prove an interesting challenge to trusts. There are a few trusts that have been through this revised process already and their CQC reports are worth having a read through.

The recent changes in law regarding duty of candour and the fit and proper person test add yet another dimension to the inspection process as trusts that are about to go through inspections will also need to take this into account.

During the course of the training we had some very interesting debates and discussions, particularly on how an organisation might evidence what it is doing to ensure that the service is SAFE – one of the first lines of enquiry for the CQC. The HR department has a key role to play here and really needs to think about how it supports this element of the assessment process.

We talked about the use of pre-employment checks, statutory and mandatory training, induction etc and it became apparent that one of the immediate issues that they, and I’m guessing a number of other trusts, have is about data information and recording. Is there ‘one source of truth’ in relation to health workforce information, or actually does this information exist in a number of different places? If it is the latter then it immediately becomes a cumbersome task trying to pull together evidence for an inspection.

The other issue is how does a trust do enough comms to prepare its managers and staff for an inspection without looking like it’s doing something just for the inspection? There’s a fine line between raising awareness on one hand and on the other looking like you are ‘coaching’ people in preparation – I think this will be a source of much internal debate within trusts.

If you have been having this debate in your team then it would be really interesting to hear from you ….


I have read with interest this blog entry about CQC Inspections.   The question ‘is there one source of the truth in relation to health workforce information'  is of particular interest to me.  
The answer is yes there is a way in which HRDs and their teams can evidence pre-employment checks, statutory and mandatory training, competencies etc.
The functionality within the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR) can help you to provide the data requirements to support Outcomes 12, 13 and 14 around Staffing and Workforce.
As well as providing a single source of data at a local level for NHS organisations, the CQC uses data within ESR as part of its Intelligent Monitoring of NHS organisations, which in turn can be used to inform its Inspections.
If you want to know more about how you can evidence against Outcomes 12, 13 and 14 using ESR visit the CQC section of our website
Clare Murdoch
NHS ESR Programme

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