An Inspector Calls

Posted on: 23rd June 2016

We have just had our first CQC inspection under the new inspection regulations and the experience of being inspected by CQC is complicated!

Working in social care is difficult, challenging, exciting and at times infuriating. Therefore, when someone comes in to inspect your best efforts to navigate through the social care maze, it can be a worrying experience.

Whilst we acknowledge and respect the need for inspection, we also know that many things hinge on what happens on the day ‘the inspector calls’. Will the clients chosen to be spoken to be having a positive day or an angry day? Will support workers remember the training they have undertaken? Will relatives, often still emotionally traumatised, be able to be objective in their thoughts about the service?

These considerations are heightened by the new categories within which CQC determine how the organisation is operating: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, Inadequate. On the outcome of this decision much depends. As the owners of the company, as well as for the staff involved, it is having your lifetime’s work judged in the course of a couple of days.

So it is with much relief and pride that the inspection process determined that our North East office provides a ‘good’ service in all the areas inspected. Whilst we would have loved to have been labelled ‘outstanding’, ultimately it is what is said about us by clients, employees and families that is the most rewarding part of the exercise - particularly to hear comments such as:

“I have a good care team. They do everything that I need” (client)

“JS Parker have been spot on, really good, the staff… are great.” (relative)

“They make our life easier. We don’t worry about how things are done or if they will be done.” (relative)

“I have been through some bad times and the staff have supported me, the best for me. I think they are great.” (client)

“I think it is a good thorough in depth service that they provide.” (relative)

“I can’t think of a better company to work for. It is brilliant.” (support worker)

“Managers seem well organised, informed, friendly and effective in overseeing the care packages of clients.” (health care professional)

So inspections are a necessary, sometimes stressful but always interesting part of the care process. Ultimately though, it is feedback from the people we come into contact with that is the most rewarding and important part of the provision of care services. We are proud of the comments made during our first new style inspection and proud of the staff who have earned this praise.

For further comments and to read the full report please visit the CQC website.