Everything you need to know about care home inspections

Posted on 31 May 2018 by Chilton House

Every care home operating in the UK must have an inspection on a regular basis. This is to ensure that the quality of care being delivered is top notch, and that standards are being maintained. 

Who inspects care homes in the UK?

Each country in the UK has its own inspection body, so the relevant one will depend on where your care home is located. In England, the body is the Care Quality Commission, often referred to as the CQC. In Wales, the equivalent is the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and in Scotland it’s the Care Inspectorate. In Northern Ireland, services will be inspected by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

When are inspections conducted ?

The regulatory bodies conduct inspections bi-annually for those who received a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ rating at the last inspection. There is no strict timeline for inspections taking place, but in general it will be at least once every couple of years, and more often for those who performed poorly last time.

Different types of inspection

Not all inspections are equal, and there are two main types you’ll come across in terms of care homes:

  1. Comprehensive: This is a full and complete inspection of all aspects of the service.
  2. Focussed: A pared back inspection designed to address just some specific areas of concern, such as following a takeover or change of management.

For the purposes of our guide, we’ll be considering the comprehensive inspection as this is the one which leads to a rating for the care home and is the one most staff, residents, family and friends users are concerned with.

What does an inspection cover?

Care inspectors are there to make balanced judgements about the quality of the provision in the care home. They understand that sometimes things don’t go to plan and are unlikely to publish a scathing report based on a difficult morning. The things they are looking for are based around the care and safety of residents, such as: 

  • Is the care home safe? Are the residents, visitors and staff protected from harm in an effective way?
  • Is care effective? Does the care result in good outcomes for the residents, helping them to maintain quality of life and good mental health?
  • Is the environment truly caring? Do staff treat the residents with compassion, kindness, respect and dignity?
  • Is care responsive? Is the provision suitably tailored to respond to client’s changing needs and to ensure effectiveness over time?
  • Is there good leadership? Is the management of the care home effective, are operations efficient and are staff encouraged to learn and develop?

Here at Chilton House, we strive to meet and exceed the needs of our residents at every step and are proud to have achieved ‘Good’ in our latest inspection. We are also highly recommended via independent reviews on carehome.co.uk and are proud to have an overall rating of 9.8 out of 10.  

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