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CQC Trade Association Meeting – 11 September 2019

NCF Policy Director Liz Jones attended the Adult social care trade associations meeting 11 September 2019.

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Liz raised the issue of Brexit planning and response by the CQC. There was a helpful discussion about the wider interdependent risks of a no deal Brexit for providers. CQC advised that they are working hard to support inspectors through this period and that there are discussions underway about how to inspect and make judgements about quality of services in the event of the some of the more pessimistic potential consequences coming to pass.

Advice from the CQC was as follows:

  • Have in place clear risk and contingency planning, so you can describe the potential risks you think that you, your services, staff and residents/ service users face and the plans you have devised to try to mitigate them a far as possible, given the wider context that Brexit no deal scenarios include
  • Be ready to explain these clearly to inspectors
  • Keep abreast of Government information and briefings
  • Work collaboratively with others to try to mitigate the potential risks you have outlined

Note to members- guidance issued to inspectors so far has been to ask them to gather some intelligence about providers’ Brexit plans, including any links/ contacts with the local authority on contingency planning.


Liz raised concerns from members who use the services of food manufacturers who provide pre –prepared meals to the hospital and care home sector. They have raised concerns about the attitude and judgments in a number of inspections where the care home has been criticised for using the specifically designed, tailored, pre-prepared meals. The inspectors who have made these criticisms seem to believe that using pre- prepared meals is at odds with the ability to offer a person-centered approach and ensure good nutrition and the enjoyment of food by residents

Advice from the CQC:

  • CQC do not have a view about the mechanism by which food is provided.
  • The inspection should be checking if the meal time experience is good, if the food is meeting people’s needs in terms of choice and nutrition and is taking account of any specific needs arising from long term conditions etc
  • The CQC also suggested that it is helpful if providers can clearly explain how the food that is provided, whether it is pre-prepared meals or prepared on site, does meet people’s personalised care needs, show them the dining experience and the impact of the food in terms of nutrition, enjoyment, health, choice and daily living.

Preparing care workers for inspection

  • There was a discussion about the idea of a one page into or short video by the CQC aimed at helping care workers understand the inspection process and how they can best contribute to it. Whilst providers often do this themselves as part of their staff training and support,  there was a view that something from the CQC specifically might also help support staff.


  • NMC Strategy consultation – on till 16 October; do respond.
    • Action: The NMC are coming to our October P&Q Forum, so do come ready to contribute views. We plan to circulate a short note with some feedback to the NMC prior to this, to help us craft consistent messages.
  • Targeted inspections – the CQC mooted this idea earlier in the summer. They have piloted it with 2 services who had warning notices and they had a good response from the providers who were pleased to see the CQC back so quickly to follow up. Next steps are to widen the trial in order to consult more widely.

Supported Living Services – how to improve the inspection of these

The CQC are exploring how they can improve the way they inspect supported living services, especially to make sure they are considering what is important to those who use these services and to cope with a range of providers with a large spread of service across a wide range of geographical locations. The slides provide more detail and again, views are sought via the online platform.

Sexual safety and supporting people’s sexuality in adult social care

The CQC have been working on this report for some time. They appear to have listened to providers’ feedback about the importance of balancing issues of sexual safety with those of sexual wellbeing, positive relationships and positive sexuality. They shared revised confidential recommendations which showed much more balance. Thanks to those who provided helpful case studies about sexual wellbeing, positive relationships and positive sexuality – more would be welcome. Publication is likely later in the year – we will keep you posted.

Download the slides from the meeting here.

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