Compliance is the action or fact of complying with a wish or command. Compliance within the care industry is complying with the commands from the regulating bodies that are the CQC if you are based in England, the Scottish Care Inspectorate in Scotland and the Welsh Care Inspectorate in Wales.

The inspections from the above regulating bodies take place to safe-guard those being cared for and to ensure that the standard of care is consistent across the care industry. That is why it is so important for these regulations to be in place and to be inspected regularly. We want our loved ones to be looked after in a kind, humane, person-centred way. By following requirements that are industry standard it is making it clear to care providers what the level of care should be and what will happen if it is not.

Key Lines of Enquiry

Key lines of enquiry or, KLOE’s, are the main points that the inspectors will be looking into when carrying out their checks depending on the type of organisation they are visiting. The inspectors use a set of standard KLOEs that are linked to 5 key questions which are; Safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.  We talk about some of the KLOE’s within our How can technology support high quality care? blog and you can download our KLOE whitepaper here.

The inspectors have mandatory KLOEs that look at the key priorities of each service, within each of the main 5 questions are layers of other questions and queries the inspectors can choose to go into. They choose at least 4 additional KLOEs to support their endeavour to establish quality and recognise risks. An extra question an inspector can ask is; ‘How are people supported at the end of their life to have a private, comfortable, dignified and pain free death?’ As well as allowing the inspectors to gain a full rounded view of the care being provided by a service it also protects the services from being unfairly rated and maintains consistency throughout.

CQC Fundamental standards

The CQC has 13 fundamental standards that health and social care providers must never fail to adhere to. These standards are:

  1. Person-centred care
  2. Dignity and respect
  3. Consent
  4. Safety
  5. Safeguarding from abuse
  6. Food and drink
  7. Premises and equipment
  8. Complaints
  9. Good governance
  10. Staffing
  11. Fit and proper staff
  12. Duty of candour
  13. Display of ratings

Everyone receiving care has the right to expect all the above from their care provider. They may seem easy to achieve as most are basic human rights, such as food and drink, but we need to remember that some of the menial day to day tasks we don’t even think about, can become a struggle in the life of a carer.

Some care providers have turned to technology to help them simplify and keep on top of compliance within their care companies. Some technologies allow management to do mock CQC inspections and create audit libraries, so you can easily build and access care plan audits, medication audits, infection control, meal time audits, recruitment and health and safety audits to name a few. Once you have completed a mock CQC inspection you can create action plans to help focus and improve performance and outcomes. This also plays into the well-led section of the KLOEs as you can easily share the action plans and track them.

Failing to achieve CQC compliance

There are several reasons why both care homes and domiciliary care practices can fail to achieve CQC compliance. From the very start of the journey in providing adult care services in England you need to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. Failing to do so can result in prosecution or a fine of up to £50,000.

If the care provider fails to meet the regulations that are in place to safeguard service users and fails to heed the warnings issued by the governing body, they can face not only a large fine but also criminal conviction.

With the CQC, providers must register each activity that they provide. Failure to do so can again lead to a hefty fine and a criminal conviction.

One of the most important and worrying failure points is if a provider is found to be making false statements about concerns that have been raised by staff, residents or family members. Or false statements about activity that is occurring and false statements in the CQC application there can be a fine of up to £5000 issued.

Failure to comply with registration conditions can lead to the CQC cancelling your registration, stopping you providing the services. Registered managers who are prosecuted with these conditions can face fines of up to £5000.

Key compliance items

Person-centred care has become quite a buzz word as we gain an ageing population. People are becoming more aware of the care their loved ones are receiving and looking at the care that they would like to receive themselves. With the help of technology led care, personalised care plans are easier than ever to produce and access. By looking at person-centred care within the inspections, the governing bodies are making sure that each individual is exactly that, being treated as an individual. Treatment and care should be based on an individual assessment of their needs and personal preferences.

Dignity and respect are key words for care workers and users. People using the services should be privy to these at all times. It is as simple as making sure people have privacy when wanted and needed, to treat people as equals and provide support if they want and have the ability to be autonomous and independent.

Nutritional and hydration needs sound simple but when you think about the individuals wants and needs it can become a struggle. People must have their nutritional needs assessed and food must be provided to meet those needs. Peoples preferences, religious and cultural must be taken into account. Failure to meet nutritional and hydration needs can leave a person exposed to significant risk and harm.

One of the most important things to investigate to make sure all the above-mentioned goals are reached is who you have providing the care. Recruitment within the care industry is tough, we have a blog post which takes a deeper look into how technology can help with recruitment here.

Spending on Health and Social care

We can’t pretend that it is easy to provide Outstanding care in every care practice in Great Britain. The funding has a huge impact on many parts of the care journey including recruitment and wages, which can have a knock-on effect on the care provided. Age UK estimated that 54,000 people died while waiting for a care package between March 2017 and February 2018. More than a million older people had developed an unmet care need in that time. Mostly basic human rights such as washing and dressing.

“Local government is under enormous pressure because of politically motivated cuts that have hit our poorest areas hardest,” he said. “Nine of the 10 most deprived councils in the country have seen cuts of almost three times the national average. And when you cut vital support services in such areas, social problems grow – and demand for those services only becomes greater.” Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK.

The Importance of compliance

As has been touched on numerous times throughout this blog post, compliance is not just there to scare the care providers when the inspectors come knocking. It is there to safeguard some of our most vulnerable people. Compliance can be easier to keep track of and control with the help of the continually progressing technology that is available.