Preparing for your CQC inspection

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Preparing for your CQC inspection

Tuta Care can help your business with temporary office and management staff to ensure you have everything up to date

Preparing for your CQC inspection should be relatively easy as every domiciliary healthcare business will be subject to a routine CQC inspection after registration, however for many businesses tight margins and staffing issues can make them fall behind in terms of assessments, care plans, staff training and other vital documentation.

Once registered inspections normally take place every two years – or more frequently if there are particular issues or problems identified or raised by your service users.

The CQC normally give 48 hours notice of the inspection date, although that may hardly be long enough to make much of a difference.  If they feel that it may be necessary, the CQC has the right to make unannounced inspections as well at any time.  So it will beneficial to your business if you are always prepared for the inspector to call.

The following tips should help you prepare your business for CQC inspections, and each one explains a suggested ‘action plan’ of a practical activity you can do to ensure a smooth inspection of your Domiciliary care business.


REMEMBER KLOEs (Key Lines of Enquiry)


1. Prepare

1.  Prepare the evidence to demonstrate that you are meeting the standards outlined for your domiciliary care business
Don’t try and sweep difficult issues under the carpet.  Think through what information you already have (e.g. performance statistics, policies, training records, DBS checks, copies of staff qualifications) to make sure that you have evidence to demonstrate how the business is meeting each of the essential standards.

Action plan: Develop up-to-date action plans in place for any areas of difficulty or concern – even if it will take some time to achieve the desired improvements.

2. Anticipate

2.  Anticipate the issues that the CQC inspector is likely to be concentrating on

In preparing for your CQC inspection you should include aspects such as infection control, safeguarding and DBS checks, service user engagement, service user care plans, staff recruitment, premises, record keeping systems, service user late/missed call reports, confidentiality and health and safety.

Action plan: Get some local intelligence from other domiciliary care businesses about the topics which cropped up during their inspection.

3. Check

3.  Check all your staff understand the role of the CQC

Train your staff about the CQC, so that they understand what it is, how it works and how their decisions can affect your business.  Don’t forget that the inspector may ask to talk to anyone working in the business.  In particular, fully brief the Senior team and office staff.  They are all legally responsible for their CQC obligations, so it is essential that know about the CQC’s essential standards and what the business is doing to meet them.

Action plan: Schedule a whole-office meeting to inform staff about the CQC, check staff know where to find all policies and whether they know what steps you’re planning to take to meet Essential Standards.


Find out how Tuta Care can help you prepare for your next CQC inspection

4. Rehearse

4.  Don’t overthink it

Don’t lay out the red carpet – the CQC will want to see the business ‘as it is’. And don’t focus just on your written policies and procedures – the inspector will be mainly looking for what happens in business, whether systems work, whether staff are trained, etc.

Action plan: Arrange a mock inspection – and help relieve anxiety by having a senior-level meeting to discuss its results. This means you can be frank, and decide jointly on your priorities for the future.

5. Think

5.  Think through the implications of your CQC inspection report being publicly available

A good way of preparing for your CQC inspection is to agree who can handle any media, local authority or service user enquiries, prepare a press statement to respond to any problems highlighted and use your company website to explain what is planned to respond to the inspection, for example.  If you have a chance to comment on the draft inspection report (e.g. to make any corrections to an error of fact), make sure that you do this within the timescale allowed.

Action plan: If your business is run well, you will already know most of the areas of concern.  Ensure that you are prepared to address the issues.

6. Assess

6.  Assess the risks that your services present to service users, as well as the risk of not meeting the CQC standards

Remember, that’s what the inspection is all about.  It is not just an opportunity for some external bureaucrats to try and catch you out!   Inspectors will be looking at aspects such as:

  • confidentiality
  • breaches of Health and Safety regulations
  • how the telephone is answered
  • information held on service users
  • how staff speak to people

Action plan: Get ideas for improvements from all your staff, and include these as part of next year’s appraisal for all staff.

7. Inform

7.  Anticipate that the inspector may wish to see a sample of service user records

For example, to check on their format and completeness.  The general rule is that the name of the service user should be anonymised, although the CQC do have powers to see individual service user records for which generally prior written consent will need to have been given by the service user.

Action plan: Inform service users that this may happen, and reassure them that information will be kept confidential.


To help them prepare for a CQC inspection, find out how Tuta Care can help you prepare today.

8. Paperwork

8.  Check your paperwork is up to date

In preparing for your CQC inspection, you should check that all of your paperwork is up to date, especially your ‘statement of purpose’ – this needs to changed with 28 days of any changes that take place in the business (such as new services, changes of senior staff, or director retirements)  Make sure that your staff know where they can access key information such as telephone numbers of the local Safeguarding service for referrals, up-to-date copies of the businesses policies and procedures.

Action plan: Make full use of the businesses systems, as well as having hard-copies of all such information readily available in just one place.

9. Service Users

9.  Tell your service users that they may be interviewed by an inspector

The CQC inspector will wish to talk to service users so alert your them about the role of CQC, how it works, and the fact inspections are held periodically.

Action plan: Mention the CQC in your business marketing materials and website if possible.

10. Relax!

10.  Deal with your anxiety before the inspector arrives

If you treat the CQC with respect, this is likely to be reciprocated.  Don’t be defensive: the inspection can offer an opportunity for a fresh look at how the business is providing services for its service users.  If you can demonstrate that you are a learning organisation which is already looking to improve? – you’ll be 90% of the way to a successful outcome of your CQC inspection. And if they arrive on an inconvenient day? – that’s likely to be tough-luck.

Action plan: Much of your work is done as a senior team – so prepare for the CQC as a team-effort.  If you need to let off steam about the CQC, find a third-party to listen rather than taking it out on the inspector.


CQC Inspections can be stressful, let Tuta Care help you prepare for your next inspection

Request More Information Regarding Our CQC Preporation Solutions

Tuta Care can help in preparing your business for your next CQC inspection and help you get everything up to date

Preparing for your CQC inspection should be relatively easy as every domiciliary healthcare business will be subject to a routine CQC inspection after registration, however for many businesses tight margins and staffing issues can make them fall behind in terms of assessments, care plans, staff training and other vital documentation.

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