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This month Kirsty meets…

by Kirsty Kirsty

Welcome to Kirsty Meets!

Each month I meet key stakeholders and business leaders in the social care sector. This month I met Tony Thiru, CEO at Fulcrum Care Consulting. I caught up with Tony to discuss navigating CQC regulations and reports,and how to strengthen your care home for 2024.

So Tony, can you tell us a little about Fulcrum Care Consulting and your recent venture ken.care?

Fulcrum specialises in helping care homes to deliver exceptional care. We have specialist consultants and industry professionals on hand to provide strategic guidance and customised solutions to address the unique challenges faced by care environments. We recently developed ken.care, an app that aims to be a practical support system for managers and staff in the care sector across England, and help them to navigate the complexities of CQC regulations so that they are well-informed about best practice.

How should care providers navigate the complexities CQC regulations and the new framework? How can ken.care assist with this?

The new framework still retains certain aspects of the previous structure, ensuring continuity in key areas. While there may be slight variations in the inspection processes, the fundamental elements of providing quality care, maintaining transparency, and ensuring robust governance will persist, and that should be at the forefront of any environment that delivers care.

Ken.care is available 24/7 and works by sifting through current sector information, feeding back accurate, relevant answers quickly and seamlessly. It aims to provide actionable advice and valuable insights into the care sector.

How can employers navigate and overcome an unfavourable CQC report?

As much as you might dread the findings of a report, it can also be your biggest help. It will clearly identify the areas where the home is struggling, and commend the areas it sees doing well. Remember that the CQC are there to work with you, not against you, and sometimes it takes external insight to help pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of a home.

When seeking to make improvements within a home, you have to accept that it is going to take some time to achieve. Too much pressure, and unrealistic time constraints, can lead to undue stress, which ultimately affects the performance and confidence of a team.

You can instil confidence in a workforce by setting manageable goals and smaller targets to help create a sense of unity within the workforce as they cooperate together to achieve one common goal. Also, opening the door for staff to be included in the decision-making process after an unfavourable report will help to make them feel valued.

“Remember that the CQC are there to work with you, not against you, and sometimes it takes external insight to help pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of a home”

What other lessons can the sector learn from the past year, and how can we improve for 2024?

We’ve learned that CQC inspections are increasingly focused on specific areas of risk, such as fire safety management and medication storage. For 2024, this necessitates providers to uphold rigorous themed checks and meticulous documentation, whilst proactively addressing these identified risks through the implementation of robust systems.

The sector has recognised the ongoing challenges in workforce recruitment and retention. The CQC continues to emphasise the need for providers to demonstrate sufficient numbers of competent staff, scrutinising the usage of agency staff. To improve in the coming year, providers must deploy effective recruitment and retention strategies, and make a concerted effort to maintain stable, competent core staffing levels. Clear documentation of these endeavours will be crucial in meeting inspection criteria.

Additionally, the sector anticipates a growing emphasis on collaboration across the health and care systems in future inspections. To enhance service quality, providers should establish partnerships and share best practices that will be instrumental in fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

And finally Tony, where can we learn more about Fulcrum Care Consulting and ken.care?

You can learn more about Fulcrum at https://fulcrumcareconsulting.com/ and more about ken.care at https://ken.care/.

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