Facing up to Financial Pressures and the CQC Approach
Every provider knows that we are facing unprecedented pressures caught between inadequate public funding and the impact of the living wage that will add between 5-8% to pay costs from April.
We are also aware that the new inspection regime implemented last year by CQC is taking a much tougher approach to quality. In the past month over 40% of inspections resulted in a Requires Improvement or Inadequate rating and this pattern has remained fairly consistent over the past year. This compares with 85% of care/nursing homes being assessed as fully compliant under the previous inspection process.
So what is the cost of non-compliance?
You may know all of this but have you given much thought as to what quality problems may be costing your business? I estimate that in typical 40 bed care/nursing home a ban on admissions will reduce the income by between £50k-100k depending on how long it takes you to get the ban lifted. Even if you don’t get hit by this sanction you should be aware that the new CQC rating must be displayed on your website and prominently in your Home.
But it gets worse....
I’ve learned that it will take you at least 12 months to get that rating changed even if you have quickly addressed all the issues that gave rise to a Requires Improvement or Inadequate rating.
The CQC has made it clear that they want to see a sustained improvement in quality not a quick fix and will want to see the results of at least two follow up inspections before they are prepared to change your rating. This will not only affect future referrals and placements from private funders but many local authorities are stating that they will only place in Homes that have a Good or Outstanding rating. It will also affect your ability to recruit good staff in an increasing competitive labour market.
The secret is to minimise the chance that you will get inspected by the CQC and, if you are, how you can be ready for them and proactively show them that you are performing to the Outstanding level? I’d like to discuss how you can minimise the chance of being inspected in my next post, so watch out for it. Do contact me if you want to discuss any of the issues I raised or my experiences and learning from engaging with the new CQC approach. Oh, and thanks to the folks at IPROS for providing the platform.
Geoff Lane is an experienced hands-on Executive with a wide experience in executive management, business turnarounds and strategy development in the residential care sector. Most recently as CEO of Regal Care and previously COO at ILG and Finance Director at Capio Group. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/odcg2013
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