With insurance companies becoming much more switched on about how you as a provider manage the risks in your business, it’s important to ensure that you are on top of what is potentially a catastrophic risk to your business.
Consider the latest CQC ratings that I recently viewed:
- 12 were outstanding
- 503 were good
- 269 required improvement
- 78 were inadequate
These figures represent a shocking 40% below what is accepted as the norm, with only 1.4% achieving the top rating. So it is understandable that insurers and other suppliers are taking note of the ones that are, by definition, needing work.
It is now recognised that providers maintaining ‘good’ or even ‘outstanding’ ratings are considered lower risk. At the same time, those rated as ‘requires improvement’ or “inadequate’ are generally viewed as higher risk and as a result, face higher premium costs or have insurance refused.
Why you need a risk register
When you take a closer look at one of the reports I read, you can see why this is an issue for some insurers and commissioners of services. It noted:
- ‘We received concerns in relation to the level of staffing, how risks were being managed and the governance in place
- We looked at two people’s risk management plans
- Risks with low staffing levels had been identified over the past year but were not resolved
- The provider had not ensured all practicable steps had been taken to mitigate safety risks to people
- Staff did not have up-to-date training about fire safety or evacuation plans
- Parts of the building had been deteriorating for some time without adequate maintenance and repair’
Many of these risks could have been and had been identified but no action had been taken to reduce them. Having a clear strategic risk register would enable some of these more serious issues to be logged and monitored in the organisation’s governance meetings. It would make sure that these issues were shared with senior managers and providers, providing a prompt for actions and plans to address concerns.
Take the comment regarding building deterioration; this could have been factored into a development, maintenance and redecoration plan that would have shown the inspectors that the issue was recognised and that plans were in place to address the concerns.
Staffing could also have been factored in as part of an overall recruitment strategy detailing barriers to recruitment, safe minimum staffing levels, how these are escalated and to whom when the service is unsafe. There is clearly no partnership with the local authority safeguarding team on this point alone.
Evidence your business skills
Having a good strategic risk register is one way to support this process and evidence your business skills and awareness of risk. It would go a long way to show that you are aware of risks and have strategies in place to address them.
It should not to be confused with your day-to-day risk assessments that enable you to manage more routine and daily risks at the service.
Maybe now is the time to revisit your risk management strategy for your business to avoid some of the pitfalls in the current regulatory climate that may affect your future business viability.
How QCS can help you
Customers have access to a Risk Register in the Resource Centre