Social care, as you know, is heavily regulated in England by the Care Quality Commission. And as providers it is our duty to ensure we are at the very least compliant with the regulations and where possible exceeding the expectations. Commissioning an external consultant to carry out a mock inspection, preferably one who has experience of operational delivery and CQC input will give an excellent overview of where you presently measure up against the KLOE's. Following this, deep dive audits (into specific areas, such as medication) will give you the full understanding of where improvements need to be made, how, and when this will happen.
Operational delivery is difficult, remaining commercially viable in the present climate gets harder each day. Having a less than good rating with CQC is incredibly commercially damaging, and could effect filling voids, recruiting staff (particularly managers) or even the sale of your business.
By planning and working toward achieving a 'Good' report, you use much less time and resource. Undoing a negative culture, rebuilding a damaged reputation or challenging a CQC rating is much harder work than not being in that position in the first place. By undertaking Mock inspections regularly, every 6 months or so, you are better prepared for inspection, you are aware of your shortfalls and improvement areas and, you are able to make informed choices about resource, rather than timewasting and firefighting.
Our associates are on hand to assist with Mock inspection and Deep Dive audits, we can be the 'critical friend' who will point out these shortfalls and support you to make the improvements necessary. Not knowing is not good enough when the regulator is inspecting, and will be a mark against the 'Well led' KLOE, having a comprehensive report showing you are working toward improvement is better, but still, preparation is better than reaction.
Be methodical, ensure your evidence can be traced through, actions complete, demonstrating the 'Golden Thread'. Involve the team, show them where the failures and improvement areas are, and empower them to take part in the transformation of the service. Provide feedback and updates, so they are fully aware of their achievements and any additional responsibilities the collective team need to own, prepare them for the inspection, talk through what CQC will want to see and how the day/s will go and when the inspection happens, you can be confident the rating will be what you deserve.