Regulators suspend care home inspections

Due to unprecedented pressure on the health and care system, the CQC is suspending care home inspections from Monday 16 March.

However, use of inspection powers will be reserved in cases where there is concerns of harm, such as allegations of abuse. When physical inspections are deemed appropriate, we anticipate having a conversation with the provider before a visit takes place.

Care home providers are asked to notify CQC within 24 hours of any suspected or known case or outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19. This means one or more cases involving staff, people who use services, volunteers, visiting professionals, visitors or visiting contractors/suppliers that people within the service have had contact with. 

Care teams are encouraged to act in the best interests of the health of the people they serve, with the top priority the protection of life. This includes touse your discretion and act in the best way you see fit”.

Inspection teams will be on hand to provide advice and guidance to the providers throughout this period, the CQC says. In addition:

  • Provider Information Returns (PIRs) are still required, but late returns will not be penalised
  • Reporting information will be shared with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.

The Care Inspectorate for Scotland has also scaled down inspections and instead will gather information, assessing the level of risk in care services and establishing assurances about the quality of care people experience.

Visits to services will only be made when absolutely necessary.  Complaints will be considered after a risk assessment. 

View the Care Inspectorate website for up-to-date guidance and information on coronavirus for care services. 

As of March 10, Care Inspectorate Wales said that inspection plans will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and that most inspections will continue as planned.

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