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07th September 2020

CQC Infection Prevention and Control Questions – what do we do with it? (Last update: 04.09.20)

In a bid to help care homes to prepare for the risk of a second wave and the impact of winter pressures, CQC have published the questions they consider when looking at infection control.

Adapting ways

When unexpected challenges hit our Adult Social Care services, CQC have to adapt what they do.  We saw this first with the Emergency Framework, and now CQC have published a set of questions they have used through their IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) tool for care homes and intend to look at adapting this for other settings in the future.

This tool helps understand individual homes IPC as well as looking at the wider picture.

The questions and prompts have been developed under the Key Lines of Enquiry for S5 – for those new to the sector, these are questions on how the provider keeps people they support safe, and this particular subsection looks at infection control.

What are they for?

In upcoming targeted and focused inspections of high risk services, this tool will be utilised to look at how well staff and people who live in the  care home are protected by IPC.

Inspectors will assess whether they are;

  • assured,
  • somewhat assured or
  • not assured

on how well the care homes are responding to key areas of IPC practice for each topic question.

The questions are underpinned by guidance published by the Department of Health and Social Care and other relevant sources.– they are not stand alone, and as the provider you must look deeper into the full set of guidance measures such as visiting Care Homes During Corona Virus

So what use is it to you?

Well, actually, it is of great use, because these are the things you should be doing as a matter of good practice, and although they are for the inspectors to use, if you ask yourself these questions and respond to the answers, then you are ensuring you are helping to keep people safe now and for a potential second wave as well as preparing for inspection in this area.

So where are the questions?

You can find the questions here and they range from the moment you enter the front door of a residential home, through to Policy in place.

  • There is a helpful link under each which describes what good looks like – this is the real gem.
  • One step down from this gives you all the sources of guidance that you should be keeping up with.

How can I use the questions?

You can use them as an integrated part of infection control, accompanied by all of the risk assessments and quality assurance you do in this area.

QCS have a Quality Assurance tool aligned to this that you can access as a member to help you understand and focus your IPC quality Assurance practice.

We are not all one size. 

Don’t be afraid to note down where there may be a different process in place for you – obviously what is laid in stone with infection control needs to be done, but you may do extra things, or different things that achieve the same or similar outcome that you can raise with inspectors.

*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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