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29th August 2018

A look at what the CQC inspectors may discover about your team work

Musical aspirations

As a child I was involved in a musical at the local theatre. My parents were proud I had a duet with another slightly older child, and the older child was given responsibility for the microphone.

It went sour

Our duet began and we played our parts well. But I wasn’t keen on playing ‘second fiddle’ to the older child, and took the moment to display my dislike of her.  A quick punch to the stomach and a grapple for the mike…


So why am I telling you this? TEAM is what your service is all about. It is important to pick up signs of dysfunctional relationships before they impact the service you provide.

The inspection

I remember assisting an inspection of a large service. There were multiple buildings across a scenic spot. Policies and procedures were firmly in place, and the corridors and rooms were impressively decorated but…

Resentment bubbling

Through the documentation and conversations that were had it became clear there was more than a little resentment between the units. Team meetings were heated and the manager barely spoke to the units.

Key ingredient

Harmony is a key ingredient in a well-run service. Without it often jobs are left undone, service users can feel the tension and staff will leave and your CQC rating will show this.

Take your services pulse

As management you should know what is going on in your service.

  • Tools such as staff surveys can give you a good reading of what is going on if you ask the right questions QCS can provide these for you
  • Take notice of what your service users are saying. If they feel uncomfortable or have concerns these should always be fully investigated
  • Make sure your teams have regular 1-1s and team meetings to express concerns
  • High turnover can also be an indicator in certain departments. Ensure you give those wanting to leave an opportunity to speak about their reasons.
  • Make sure you undertake intentional walk arounds as manager and spot checks
  • Check out CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry for your service.
Putting it right
  • Good recruitment including behavioural and competency based approaches should help highlight where people are coming from before you employ
  • Ensure staff are aware of the zero tolerance policy to Bullying and Harassment
  • Lead by example – be seen, be approachable and behave in a manner that encourages good relationships
  • Create team building activities to cement relationships.

You may be wondering how my singing career went after that performance…it didn’t, but I am glad to say my father filmed the whole thing for posterity (ashamed emoji).

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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