Care Home Management

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Are you prepared for new CQC inspections?

By Philippa Doyle, partner, Hempsons

It has been widely publicised that CQC is taking a more risk-based approach to inspections, “crossing the threshold” where they have concerns but otherwise carrying out routine monitoring phone calls – similar to those experienced throughout the pandemic.

Philippa-Doyle | Professional Care Home Advice
Philippa Doyle

Providers should be prepared for these calls and would be well advised to consider their responses to the following questions, available on the CQC website.

As per the Adult Social Care Handbook, these questions focus the mind on demonstrating compliance with the fundamental standards of care set out in Part 2 of the Health & Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014

Each set of questions is divided into the five traditional Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE) – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. They are all probing questions which require providers to be ready to demonstrate compliance, just as you would in a face-to-face inspection.

As an example, under the Safe KLOE, Q1 states: How do systems, processes and practices safeguard people from abuse?

Expanding the question causes five further questions to appear, eg:   How are you managing risks to safeguarding people from abuse?

It will not be enough to say in response to that question, “We have a safeguarding policy and all staff are trained in it” – CQC will want to understand whether staff know how to recognise a safeguarding incident, who to report it to and what, if any, action to take. Inspectors and will want to understand that senior management know when something requires reporting to the Local Authority and /or CQC themselves.

These questions suggest that telephone reviews will be no less rigorous than a face-to-face inspection. Furthermore, don’t expect that structured conversations with providers will be a quick chat. The nature and number of the questions suggests the discussion will be detailed, so it is time well spent to consider your answers to the questions posed. This will ensure you are prepared for the call and can showcase your service. Don’t forget that the providers that can’t answer the questions well will be the ones who have a face-to-face inspection.

Hempsons run Care Home Management’s free legal advice line so if you have any concerns following a monitoring call or full inspection then do get in touch on 01423 724056 or email


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