In order to be fully prepared for your CQC assessment you must ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation to evidence that your organisation, partnership or you as an individual comply with the CQC’s standards. This documentation can take many forms such as policies, procedures, patient facing information, advisory leaflets, audit outcomes and risk assessments. And knowing exactly what you need and preparing it all sufficiently can be a daunting task.
The easiest way to approach this task is to first understand the outcomes that the CQC will be assessing your against. Familiarise yourself with the essential standards document and then consider each standard in turn, assessing what physical evidence you could produce to demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the standard; remembering that this could be anything from a staff rota, a plan of your premises, an audit of patient waiting times, or an information security policy. As you consider each standard make a list of the evidence that would appear sufficient to demonstrate compliance.
The next step is to then review that list and pull together all of the documentation that you have highlighted – this job shouldn’t be left to one individual as other members of your team may be aware of additional documentation that could be used as appropriate evidence. Working together you should then be able to compile a good range of documentation. However, in almost all circumstances you will find areas where your documentation evidence falls short. It may be that upon reviewing a specific policy you realise that it may not be sufficiently detailed enough to meet the CQC requirements or, it may be that although you comply with a particular standard in practice, you simply do not have the physical documentation to support it, and therefore new documentation, records or policies will need to be created. As you edit and create new documentation make sure that you keep a log of the evidence you have in place – aligning it with the CQC’s outcomes.
Once you have located and created all of your documentation you should then collate it all together in a logical fashion, in hard copies as well as electronic. In presenting all of your documents in logical folders, when a CQC assessor visits your premises you will be in a position to easily hand over all of your documentation so that they can sit and review your folders at their leisure; saving the stress and embarrassment of having to scrabble around a filing cabinet or office looking for a specific piece of evidence that they have asked to see.
Finally, as well as having all of the evidence nicely presented in folders, it is important that you are familiar with this evidence and that you are confident in discussing the content of the folders and are aware of how the contents relates to the CQC’s standards. This applies to the nominated individual(s) the registered manager and any senior staff that have responsibility for any specific CQC outcomes.
Applying the above methodology will mean that not only will the preparation of your CQC documentation be a less stressful process but it will allow you to develop a more thorough understanding of the CQC’s requirements, thus giving you greater confidence in dealing with your CQC assessment.