Helping practice managers through the CQC inspection ordeal

Published: 20 March 2015

Originally Published on March 5, 2015 by Practice Index in CQC

When the CQC calls to tell you that you’re up for inspection, it triggers one of the most nerve-racking experiences practice managers will ever go through. In this blog Practice Index has spoken to practice managers who have endured the pain – and survived – the pressures of being inspected, to provide an insight into the preparation that can be put in place to help the big inspection day run smoothly.

Here are some of the comments received:

Use the notice period

“You’ll be given two weeks’ notice before inspection so use this time to ensure all practice policies are up to date, relevant infection control policies are in place and audited, premises are up to standard and that all staff are aware of what may be asked and expected from them.”

“It’s vital that all staff know what’s expected of them and are involved in the preparation. Together, look at practice procedures to ensure everything is up-to-date and use information from the CQC and LMC as well as speaking to other practice managers about their experience.”

“Find – and update if necessary – your Statement of Purpose, and ensure practice leaflets and complaints procedure are visible.”

“Ensure all staff know what to expect and the potential areas of inspection and questions that will be asked.”

See http://practiceindex.co.uk/gp/blog/cqc/aim-high-cqc-inspection/ for an insight here.

Think like an inspector

“Previous inspection reports on www.cqc.org.uk/content/doctorsgps proved priceless to us. Reading the reports and working out what inspectors are looking for – good and bad – helped us enormously. It is great to see where other practices are being praised, so we got a team meeting together and worked out examples of where our practice was carrying out similar programmes. The inspectors liked to see these examples of our good work.”

Involve patients

“As soon as possible after notification of inspection it’s worth getting in touch with those involved in patient participation groups. I was amazed how willing patients were to talk to the inspectors who called before visiting us.”

Gather documentation

“We found that the inspectors constantly wanted to see evidence when we gave verbal answers, so ensure you can back up everything you say with relevant paperwork. The inspectors were very clear that they wanted to see examples of good practice rather than finding faults.”

The start of the day

“Start early on the day of inspection – it’ll help to relax people before the inspection team arrives.”

“The inspectors arrived just after 9am and wanted to get going pretty much immediately so be prepared. They didn’t go home until after 4pm!”