Under CQC’s new Single Assessment Framework (“SAF”), CQC will now continuously monitor a service’s quality and evidence will be gathered in a variety of ways, not just through inspections. In turn, this means that ratings will be updated more regularly instead of only after an inspection.

The five key questions (Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-led) and the four ratings (Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate) remain the same but within the ratings, CQC uses a scoring framework which assesses the quality of a service. CQC’s rationale for using a scoring system as part of its assessment is that it will assist providers by giving an indication of how close the service is to another rating. The scores will also help CQC determine if quality is moving up or down within a rating.

Factual Accuracy Comments

Following an inspection, CQC will email providers a link to their draft inspection report. Providers are then able to enter comments about factual accuracy against each section of the draft report and upload evidence to support any challenges they are making. There is a 10 working day time limit to submit factual accuracy comments.  

Inspection reports are now shorter in length and provide an overview of the service, the key questions assessed and the quality statements that were considered under the key questions. For any quality statements not considered during an assessment, they are pre-populated based on a provider’s previous rating.

What’s next?

CQC will consider providers’ feedback on the SAF, reviewing how it is working and the timescales involved until the end of June 2024.

If your service is experiencing any issues with CQC it can be helpful to seek specialist legal advice from our lawyers at RWK Goodman. For further information, call: 02030 069727 or visit https://rwkgoodman.com/sector/health-social-care

Author: Anna Fee / Senior Associate Solicitor / Dispute Resolution – Health & Social Care

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