The new Single Assessment Framework is live, and hopefully you have had the chance to look at the new Quality Statements. You will notice there are four new parts to this framework that were not part of the old inspection process and I aim to dive into these and provide you with some insights of how you can prepare and evidence compliance.  

The new four new areas of inspection are:

  1. Workforce wellbeing and enablement under the Key Question of Caring
  2. Shared Direction and Culture under the Key Question of Well-Led
  3. Workforce equality, diversity and inclusion under the Key Question of Well-Led
  4. Environmental sustainability – sustainable development under the Key Question of Well-Led

Workforce wellbeing and enablement

There is going to be a close focus on the workforce to help retain people within the sector and ensure that mental health and wellbeing are supported. The CQC will expect providers to be able to demonstrate that they care about and promote the wellbeing of their staff, and support and enable them to always deliver person-centred care’.

You can prepare for this by ensuring that you have:

  • Mechanisms to monitor, improve and promote staff safety and wellbeing.
  • Clear policies relating to staff management, mental health, wellbeing, absence etc.
  • Rotas evidencing break times (especially homecare providers). Have you checked out Care Line Live? They have a great system that can help you ensure that your rotas are effectively planned, include enough time for travelling, breaks are scheduled and allows staff to manage their leave and availability. Check them out here.
  • Mechanisms to monitor and capture staff feedback and lessons learnt.
  • Captured how you have supported staff with their mental health.
  • Processes to signpost people to external mental health resources/organisations.
  • You have clear data to show evidence staff sickness rates, vacancy and turnover rates.
  • Supervisions that document ongoing professional development, goals and aspirations.

If you are looking for a new digital system to meet this area within your business, be sure to check out One Touch who are all in one solution for your care management and can support with governance, audits and compliance.

Shared direction and culture

This is not something new for providers to worry about, but it how you evidence that you do it now that counts. The CQC will expect providers to be able to demonstrate that they have a shared vision, strategy and culture which is based on transparency, equity, equality and human rights, diversity and inclusion, engagement, and that the organisation understands challenges and the needs of people and our communities to meet these.

You can prepare for this by ensuring that you have:

  • Staff know what the mission, vision and values of the service/company are.
  • Inclusive recruitment processes
  • Feedback loops such as ‘You Said, We Did’.
  • Local challenges and risks are identified, and steps are in place to mitigate these.

If you need any advice around any legal processes you have in place, you can contact RWK Goodman who are a legal partner who specialise in Health and Social Care and can ensure that you are following everything to the point.

Workforce, equality and diversity

This ties in closely with the shared direction and culture Quality Statement, however, goes one step further. The CQC will expect providers to be able to evidence how the provider values diversity in the workforce and works towards an inclusive and fair culture by improving equality and equity for people who work for them.

You can prepare for this by ensuring that you have:

  • Staff training records (which includes Equality, Diversity, LD awareness, Mental Health Awareness). Need some training, check out W&P Training who have a whole suite of courses to meet all your business needs.
  • A zero tolerance to bullying and harassment and policies and procedures are in place.
  • Evidence of how you act to continually review and improve the culture of the organisation through feedback.
  • A clear process to demonstrate reasonable adjustments to support disabled staff to carry out their roles well.

Environmental sustainability

For me, this is the only one whereas a provider we may not be playing our part in society and the UK however the CQC will expect providers to be able to understand any negative impacts of their activities on the environment and strive to make a positive contribution in reducing it and support people to do the same.

You can prepare for this by ensuring that you have:

  • A sustainability policy and processes in place
  • A roadmap of where you currently are in your sustainability journey to where you want to be.
  • Processes in place for recycling.
  • Training in place for your staff on sustainability

Whilst the CQC are not going to be inspecting this for the first year of the Single Assessment Framework, you can get one step ahead with this handy guide from The Caring View

Footer / Notes for Editor

Mark Topps, Co-Founder of The Caring View.

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