We are a business Care2Improve providing independent care quality assessment and reporting to managers of care homes and home care providers. We find that sadly the majority of care providers we meet do not see the value in having someone come in and do a full audit and tell them the true facts as stated by service users, care staff, relatives and other professionals.
Our service costs £400 but most care homes and dom care agencies say it's too much. Can you really assess your own quality fairly and thoroughly?
We would like to use and refer to your 3-level if you agree as it fits with our marketing message of "don't rely on CQC it's too late when they find out".
It brings me back to what I was reliably informed some years ago would make the NHS great. I.E. leadership, leadership, leadership. Quality management goes hand in hand with good leadership. With leadership comes responsibility and accountability for what we do.
Leadership values if instilled will by default ensure compliance as the organisation is driven by the need and desire to preform and provide the best care / service it is capable of.
As a regulatory body of limited resource it cannot ultimately be held responsible for "all" NHS organisations which essentially are self governed. Enforcing, monitoring and supporting roles though yes. What the CQC cannot afford is missing out on critical management or operational components through submissions, inspections or alerts, which could likely result in failure to deliver safe and effective care. In the current climate "pre-empting" failures in any /all organisations cannot be categorically guaranteed as one can appreciate the complexity and scale involved and can only be determined with available information.
It seems from the Whorlton Hall exposure that the CQC is actually not able to identify genuinely bad care homes. Does the CQC use techniques similar to the BBC's? If not then why not? Are those techniques considered "unfair", "underhand"? If they are then the CQC has no real chance of detecting bad management and practices.
Putting the above aside, did the CQC receive any information from whistleblowers about Whorlton Hall, and if it did then was any action taken - it seems not. Does the CQC actively encourage whistleblowers as part of its normal operation? If it doesn't then perhaps it ought to consider that approach (or would that be considered unfair or underhand?).
There are an awful lot of questions arising from the Whorlton Hall episode about the CQC's modus operandi. How will they be answered? We'd prefer not to see the usual cop-out statement about not enough funding - it's doubtful that working with whistleblowers would require much funding. Seeking out these abysmal practices by any means ought to be the CQC's standard working method. But.. we suppose it's easier to carry out a cursory visit and use a ticked checklist rather than do a real investigation; We know little about the CQC's methods but whatever they are they clearly do not work.
We'd be interested in a reply, but we imagine nothing of any importance will be forthcoming.