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Inspection process and information required

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft‘ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

Although inspections can be unannounced, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will usually provide two weeks notice in writing. At this time, you will be asked for information about your service, which can include your statement of purpose, complaints log and serious incident/accident log. The lead inspector will also call to let you know the agenda for the day so that you can prepare (e.g. by ensuring staff are available for interview, preparing an area for the inspection to work etc.).

On the day of inspection, the inspection team will look at organisational policies and procedures, review records, observe practices and speak to staff, management, service users and their families to acquire evidence in line with their Key Lines of Enquiry.

At the end of the inspection, the inspection team will meet with senior management to discuss their findings and future plans for action. They then produce and publish a report of their findings and the services overall rating.

The inspection team will use several sources of information during the inspection process, including:

  • Local information – from local HealthWatch services, Patient Participation Groups, local councillors and council committees etc.
  • Information collected before the inspection – complaints, concerns and incidents/accident
  • Information from people who use services, their families and carers, staff and other professionals – interviews and comment cards distributed to stakeholders requesting their views of the service
  • The inspection – viewing records, policies and procedures, observing how care is provided, speaking with senior management
  • Reports which are quality assured, graded and published – previous inspection reports