COmplianCe More guidance on CQC at: www.drinkanddrugsnews.com David Finney gives his guide to understanding the next phase of CQC Inspection In search of excellence he Care Quality Commission (CQC) has begun a new phase of inspections, where the legal authority to award ratings to providers of substance misuse treatment services will come into effect. Also, some of the lessons learned will begin to impact upon the knowledge bank which inspectors are accumulating. These ratings, once awarded, have to be published and displayed, according to the regulations – so there will be no hiding place if your service is failing in any way. Commissioners and people who wish to use your service will definitely be able to find out how you have fared. Most providers honestly believe that their service is a good one, but I believe that many are providing an outstanding service – they just don’t realise this or give it that name. The question is, can you convince CQC that a service is good, or even outstanding? First of all, ensure that all the basics are in place. There is no point in trying to highlight some excellent practice if matters such as health and safety, staff training and supervision, medication administration, quality assurance, governance arrangements etc are not being well run. Secondly, look to the NICE guidance which is T In brief, the ratings that could be awarded are: Outstanding This is where a service is seen to go the extra mile, providing something above and beyond the usual standard of service. gOOd This is the expected outcome, where everything about the service works OK. RequiRes impROvement This means that some elements of the service are below standard. inadequate This means there are many failings. 14 | drinkanddrugsnews | September 2018 relevant. This will be a secondary document that CQC will refer to when assessing practice. This is especially important for detoxification services. Thirdly, examine the CQC rating characteristics listed in their methodology, (otherwise known as the Key Lines of Enquiry). When you write the pre- inspection material required from you by CQC, directly refer to their own criteria. This is a chance to shine and highlight what is outstanding about your service. Fourthly, look at other CQC inspection reports to see what has already been identified as good practice and ask whether CQC would find that in your service or not. If not, is there any way that it could become part of your practice? Meanwhile, these are some of the areas that may demonstrate good practice: UNDERSTANDING RISK CQC criteria are that risks are proactively anticipated and that service users are actively involved in managing their risks. Good recovery involves people building and owning their resilience to maintain sobriety or whatever goals they have chosen. To do this, an awareness of risk and an ability to personally own the strategies to overcome their risk factors are vitally important and could be demonstrated through documents as well as conversation with service users. DEVELOPING STAFF SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE CQC criteria involve the continuing development of staff skills, competence and knowledge alongside proactively supporting staff to acquire new skills, use transferable skills and share best practice.