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Total CQC compliance solutions for the care sector. 4 scaled

The secret to maintaining an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating

Meet Michelle Dudderidge, our CQC Compliance Consultant. Not only does she support our customers with achieving registration and ongoing compliance but she also leads the team at Hand in Hands Domiciliary Care and Supported Living service.

Which provides care and support to individuals with learning disabilities, autism and behaviours that may challenge. Michelle has over 20 years experience working in Social Care, including as a Registered Manager and certified trainer.  Michelle has recently engaged with CQC Experts to provide compliance support to other care providers as a consultant, including helping new care providers to achieve CQC registration, undertaking mock inspections and dealing with CQC enforcements.

Hand in Hands were awarded Outstanding with CQC in 2018 and following a recent inspection have retained their Outstanding rating, rated outstanding in 3 out of 5 of the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs), which is an incredible achievement.

With only 4% of care homes and 4% of care services in homes achieving an outstanding rating in 2022 and in 2019 only 5 providers achieving outstanding in the South of England, it just goes to show the dedication and passion Michelle and the Hand in Hands staff team have to change and improve the lives and experiences of the individuals they support.

Do you mind telling us a bit about you care service?

Hand in Hands is a support service for adults with Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or behaviour that may challenge established services, to enable them to live as independently as possible in their own homes.

We currently support approximately 30 individuals across our Supported Living services and with community outreach provision. Our support is person-centred and based on the needs of each individual and includes personal care, prompting and administering medication, meal planning and preparation, including the importance of understanding a healthy diet, domestic tasks, including shopping, cleaning and laundry, assistance with finance, budgeting and dealing with correspondence, supporting to access education and employment opportunities, supporting to attend health appointments and specialist services and meeting with external professionals, accessing community activities, including religious and cultural events and supporting to develop and maintain relationships with family and friends.

The aim of our Supported Living services is to develop new, and enhance already existing skills and aid, where possible, as a ‘stop gap’ to moving individuals from living with parents/families into independent living with reduced levels of care and support.

Can you tell us about your most recent CQC inspection?

The inspection was focussed on 2 Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs), Safe and Well Led.  It took place over a month during which time a variety of evidence was submitted, feedback was gathered by the inspector from individuals, families and external professionals and the inspector visited our supported living services.

The inspector considered the reports issued following a CQC Monitoring meeting in March 2022, within which there were no concerns identified and also our PAMMS monitoring inspection by the Local Authority in May 2022 which rated us as ‘Excellent’ in line with the East of England requirements.

You received an ‘outstanding’ rating. Congratulations! What types of evidence did you submit to CQC as part of the inspection?

The inspector asked for a variety of evidence to be submitted including contact details for staff, relatives and external professionals, details of the individuals at each service, an overview of our governance and quality assurance processes including surveys completed and feedback received, staff records, including recruitment information, training records and ongoing support/supervision/appraisal etc., a sample of care plans/risk assessments/medication records/Mental Capacity Assessments and best interest decisions for individuals, accident/incident logs, safeguarding and CQC notification trackers, details of compliments and complaints and examples of lessons learned including how these were shared with staff and any actions taken as a result.

Your previous inspection was in 2018. Of course we have had COVID and many other factors influencing the social care sector since then! How do you think Hand in Hands has changed as a service since your last inspection?

I don’t believe our practice has changed in anyway.  We have always been an organisation who pride themselves on being open, honest and transparent. We treat our staff well which in return means they are committed to the organisation and our focus is always on achieving the best possible outcomes for the individuals we support.

Do you feel it is difficult for a service to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating?

Not if they follow all guidance issued and meet the requirements of CQC including robust governance processes.

It is much easier to do it right than to try and rectify where mistakes have been made.

What do you think of the new scoring system that CQC are going to implement as part of their new regulatory framework?

To be honest, CQC are still going to be inspecting services in the same way, the only difference being that they will be assessing against Quality Standards which are the same as the current KLOEs, without so much overlap, visiting services, gathering feedback and asking for evidence more frequently which I see as a good thing as will enable them to identify both good and bad practice at the earliest opportunity.

What advice could you give to other Providers who are striving for ‘Outstanding’ at their next inspection?

Make sure the individuals you support are always at the heart of your service and your staff are involved in all decision making as this ensures they take ownership and feel valued.

Congratulations to Michelle and her team for an ‘Outstanding’ rating!

At CQC Experts we consider ourselves to be very lucky to have the front line knowledge and experience that Michelle brings. We feel it gives us the unique ability to be able to see CQC Compliance from all angles and is definitely what contributes to the success rates we have on behalf of our customers. 

If you would like to benefit from that level of support, please get in touch.