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Update from CQC Trade Association Meeting – 17 November 2021

The November 2021 CQC trade association meeting covered some useful topics. See slides: November Trade Association Meeting Slides and the meeting minutes: November Trade Association Official Meeting Minutes.

Our Policy Director Liz Jones, gives her update below:

Operational Update – VCOD & Duty of Candour – Alison Murray

Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment  now live; from a CQC perspective bit early to comment. Had lots of queries from inspectors & providers. Confusion created by the proposed amendment to the draft regulations for widening VCOD. Once the new draft regulations are made, in care homes it will be possible to deploy new starters who are 3 week post first jab – providers do not have to wait until the worker has had the second jab, although of course they do need to have the second jab 10 weeks after the first one. This does NOT apply now; it only applies once the regulations are on the statute book. The regulations are expected in early Jan. The full regulations go live 12 weeks after the regulations are made, likely to be April

Note: Widening scope of VCOD excludes Shared Lives.

Q? about a nuanced approach by CQC? A: The law says staff must be double vaccinated so if not fully vaccinated, the care home will be in breach. The CQC has two potential lines of proportionality; firstly, if the second jab date is within a couple of weeks of the inspection, the CQC may be able to keep the inspection open for that couple of weeks & get the position updated prior to draft report. This would only be an option if there are no other issues in the service and would only be possible for a couple of weeks. Secondly, if the date of the second jab is further off, then the care home will be in breach of the regulation but enforcement action will be proportionate in action the CQC takes. The CQC has set up an internal panel to consider enforcement action for any proposed breaches of this regulation, Reg 12.3,  to consider the response taken

NCF Q? re approach of systems – we are seeing a number of examples of trusts & GPs being helpful & saying their staff are registered – honest! A: That is not sufficient & the care home will still have to see proof.  The Hospital inspectorate are taking a clear role in addressing issues such as this.

NCF Q? re the widening of VCOD – very confusing announcement and not helpful; regulations & code of practice don’t line up A: yes, this is potentially very confusing. The CQC is pushing for guidance to clarify

Download the full update, which includes Inspection data summary, How to Get the Best out of Inspection document, Duty of Candour, Discharge issues – discussions and much more here.

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