Practice makes perfect. An old saying but nonetheless true and there is no better practice than the real thing.
Take public speaking. Imagine you have never spoken to a large group of people before. The days leading up to the event will make you nervous, maybe even fill you with dread.
When the big moment comes, you plough through despite a shaky voice and clammy hands. When your piece is over and the audience politely applauds, you leave with a sense of relief, you did it, you survived, but did you really do the best you could?
You may have been talking too quickly, or without passion, you didn’t communicate clearly enough. Perhaps you neglect a few important details on a subject you know like the back
Lost at sea…
Practice makes perfect. Eventually. But now imagine the same scenario, except that during the presentation it turns out that your PowerPoint slides are out of order. You look down to your notes and realise that in an anxious rush you have actually brought along some energy bills and bank statements instead!
The talk now becomes the disaster you had feared. Those with experience, or with a Zen like calm, will find a way to make the situation work and recover. For most however this is their worst nightmare made real.
Instead of giving the passionate, informative talk on a subject they are truly knowledgeable about, they have been reduced to a quivering wreck, unable to communicate the story they are desperate to tell.
The audience will empathise yes, but they will still cast judgement on your competency as a speaker and your authority on the subject you were there to discuss.
Being inspection ready – at all times
This themes in this scenario ring true for CQC inspections too – but when it comes to inspections the stakes are higher. You are not risking personal embarrassment, but the wellbeing of your business.
So what can you do? Well, we’ve already partly answered that one haven’t we?
Practice makes perfect. You need to get your organisation ‘fit for inspection at all times’ (from your staff through to your processes).
Mock inspections are one way to do this. They are perilously neglected in social care but are a feature of most outstanding care provider’s routines.
Mock inspections enable you to spot and address any issues that have been hidden from view but could come to light at inspection. This also helps you tone and tweak many aspects of your service to bring up the overall quality of your service.
This is because a range of other routines and regiments underpin mock inspections. These serve to examine your processes, the quality of care you are delivering and how well run and organised your organisation is.
Just like the inexperienced speaker we imagined earlier, your staff or even you can find inspections a nerve racking affair when the situation is unfamiliar and unpracticed. Especially if your ‘ slides and notes’ – in this case your documentation, your knowledge of policy, procedures and processes are not up to scratch, patchy or difficult to locate on the day.
Mock inspections need not be an isolated exercise. Why not kill two birds (or even more than that) with a single stone?
Where to start?
How often should you be carrying out your mock inspections? What should you be focusing on? Who should play inspector and how do you know if you doing well?
These are all necessary questions to ask before putting your business to the test. For the same reason that personal trainers create workout plans that suit the people they are training. Lest you risk getting injured or left so ache ridden you can’t get out of bed the next day.
What? More work? Now I’ve got to write a ‘work-out’ plan? Actually, no. The Access Group’s Health & Social Care division, working with our clients who are rated outstanding have put together all the steps, regiments and routines you need to be ‘inspection ready at all times’.
You’ll be pleased to know that step one is not ‘buy Access software’ either!
The ‘Get Fit for Inspection’ guide might be the most useful download you make all year. It’s a must have for those care providers who want to have the best CQC inspection they can, and to drive incremental improvements in their care services. You can get it now here.