Mark Topps explores how the CQC's new single assessment framework will impact learning disability care providers, with tips on how these services can prepare.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have developed their new Single Assessment Framework, following nine months of engagement and interactions with providers, people who use their services, and other stakeholders.
Having just 34 topic areas across five key questions means that learning disability providers will be much clearer about what the CQC are looking for in their assessments.
In this blog post, I explore how the new framework will impact learning disability providers in four ways, with tips on how to prepare and stay one step ahead.
The recent framework emphasises the importance of person-centred care. It promotes choice, dignity, and involvement in decision making.
For many learning disability providers, this won’t be a significant change. However, for those that may fall under the old healthcare guidance, like long stay services, this is going to be a drastic change.
The roll out of person-centred care will see a huge focus on family and loved ones being involved. With the consent of the individual, we know involving family members and support networks in decision making processes can contribute to a more holistic and effective approach to care.
The key questions (Safe, Effective, Well-Led, Caring and Responsive) are not changing, which means there will be some stability for learning disability providers.
Instead of the 330 Key Lines of Enquiries, these are being replaced with 34 quality statements. Having 296 less things to focus on will help improve overall understanding and quality, and the CQC hope it gives providers a clear definition of what good care looks like and what their expectations are.
We know that the CQC drafted their quality of life framework. The primary purpose of the quality of life tool is to improve the CQC's ability to consistently identify and take appropriate regulatory action in services that fail or are failing to meet the needs, aspirations and skills development of people with a learning disability and/or autistic people. This framework looks at 4 sections:
We know the CQC embedded this toolkit into their old inspection framework in some regions, although there have been Registered Managers who have stated this has not always been the case. I can speak first hand that during my last inspection at the LD home I managed, this did not come up.
Whilst we do not yet know if this will be fully embedded in the new framework, it is still a great tool for providers to have up their sleeves as it helps push the quality of care. It will be interesting to see if this becomes embedded in the new Single Assessment Framework over time.
Despite it being 2023, the CQC has neglected to include training from their framework and lacks regulation on what is taught to our teams and how often. However, we shouldn't ignore this issue. It's important to ensure staff receive proper training and support, and how we document this for inspections is vital. In my experience managing learning disability services, training is often inadequate, but it's not always shouted about or captured.
I hope this helps you form some actions and thoughts on how to get ahead of the new framework. However, it is important to also stay up to date, and I would strongly recommend you keep checking out the CQC website for their latest updates.
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