We have extensive experience of what regulators are looking for and of engaging positively with the regulators on behalf of providers to have inspection reports re-worded, individual ratings raised and overall ratings revised upwards. While, at the same time, maintaining the developing the provider’s ongoing relationship with the inspection team.
From ensuring that a simple but misleading inaccuracy is corrected to preparing judicial review proceedings to force the regulators to revise the overall rating from Requires Improvement to Good or from Good to Outstanding, our team has done it all. We have achieved excellent outcomes for multi-site corporate providers, new providers faced with their first inspection report and well-established family owned businesses.
Case Study: Securing recognition as an Outstanding Service – Challenging Inspection Reports using a focused factual accuracy response
Background: A care home that had gradually moved from a rating of Requires Improvement to Good over a number of years was working towards achieving a rating of outstanding. The next inspection resulted in a draft inspection report with ratings of Good in four categories and a rating of Outstanding in the caring category. The head of governance and quality and the registered manager completed a first draft of their factual accuracy response across all categories and on the suggestion of a fellow provider, contacted Errol Archer and his team.
Our expert input: Having reviewed the draft report and the draft factual accuracy response in detail, Errol Archer held a strategy meeting with the provider. Noting that the report was overwhelmingly positive and acknowledged that the home “is exceptionally well led”, our advice was to focus attention, in particular, on the Well Led category. A similarly positive narrative in the Responsive and Safe categories, justified further investigations.
Working together as a team, we carried out detailed analysis and identified additional relevant evidence in these categories, with an emphasis on the Well Led category.
Outcome: Following CQC’s consideration of the factual accuracy response, the narrative was revised to further document examples of outstanding service and the rating of the Well Led category was revised from Good to Outstanding. With two categories now rated as Outstanding and the others as Good, the overall rating was revised to Outstanding.
- Analyse the draft report objectively to identify where to focus your efforts, and develop a strategy.
- Take note of CQC’s guidance on aggregating ratings so that you are clear of your objective in order to achieve an overall rating of Outstanding.
- Avoid a scattergun approach to when responding to draft inspection reports.
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