Following on from the DHSC's Q&A document that was updated on the 17th March, we have also obtained responses from CQC to the following questions;
- Can you tell us if there is a contact list for CQC Regional Leads? The reason for asking this is that care associations and providers are struggling at times to reach CQC contacts and gain responses to queries.
In circumstances where providers are looking for CQC to respond to a query and their local inspector is unavailable, we advise them to contact our national customer service team – telephone: 03000 616161, email: email@example.com.
- There is also a need to know what the CQC stance is to be on vaccination now the legislation has been revoked. It is believed that there is a revised IPC code of conduct, when is this to be available?
We published our statement on the revocation of vaccination as a condition of deployment on 18 March 2022. You can read our statement on our website - Vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and social care update | Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk). Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have also produced a Q&A document (attached) please share with CAA members and advise providers to use this for support.
- With vaccination; the keeping of records of checks on vaccination status on visitors, (mainly) professional and otherwise. Post 16th March what needs to be kept, there is some confusing advice and a possible clash between GDPR needs and those of CQC, for purposes of inspection.
CQC will no longer have a legal requirement to check for vaccination as condition of deployment in health and social care during inspection or retrospectively. The Q&A document attached produced by DHSC may help providers make decisions regarding record keeping in light of the revocation of the regulation.
- Fees, both from Local Authorities (& the NHS) and from private funders. We are all aware of the situation with inflation, costs rising and councils being apparently short of funds for social care. however, social care providers, the bulk of them SMEs are facing increased bills day by day and must pay these to maintain their organisation, which has to be sustainable and resilient. Providers, lacking support from councils are turning to raising safeguarding alerts as the lack of financial support means that they cannot provide the required support and care. this heaps further pressures on a sector already stretched by over-capacity caused as a result of the pandemic. Where does CQC stand in this, if / when safeguarding alerts are raised, then these should be copied to CQC.
We know that financial sustainability is important for the sector, and there are a number of factors impacting this. Through both our market oversight function and ongoing monitoring work, we’re keen to understand how these pressures are impacting providers. This is so we can draw attention to these sector wide issues in conversations with system partners and government. We’d encourage trade associations to share any issues around financial sustainability with us.
- In the longer term, unsustainable fee increases simply move the issue forward with many of the providers, described as death by a thousand cuts. And it affects the not for profits, just as much as the for profits.
If there are events that stop a service from running safely then there is an expectation that providers notify CQC. The notification form and guidance for providers on the regulation is available on our website- Events that stop a service running safely and properly – notification form | Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk)