December 01, 2022


In our Autumn 2022 Newsletter Carl May-Smith, partner and barrister at Browne Jacobson, outlined what the CQC’s new Inspection Framework was likely to look like. He noted the utilisation of additional sources of information particularly in relation to feedback; and the use of internal CQC ‘dynamic dashboards’ to inform regulatory action. The use of digital technology will be vital in preparing care providers for these changes, as Senior Social Care Professional Rob Hammond, an Advisory Board Member to PredicAire, explains.

Technology and its application to the care sector has been a key theme at industry conferences during 2022, notably the Care England ‘Facing the Future’ event in March and the Care Show at the NEC in October. Introducing and increasing the use of technology in care homes is high on the Government’s agenda, with £150m of funding to drive digitalisation announced as part of the White Paper in December 2021.

In the future CQC intends to assess processes, policies and procedures through remote collection of information, with a much greater emphasis given to outcomes. There can be little doubt, therefore, that care providers who are able to supply accurate and relevant data to CQC in a timely manner (often at the touch of a button) will be in a much stronger position in the future than those who continue to rely on paper-based record keeping. Technology allows providers and registered managers oversight of multiple residents’ care and support in key risk areas at the same time through the ‘dashboard’ feature which appears in many care management software (CMS) packages, allowing trends and/or areas of concern to be quickly identified and proactively addressed before they become a significant issue.

In his article, Carl May-Smith commented that ‘choice, control and personalisation are said to be a golden thread throughout the new approach’, and new technology is allowing access on a different level to achieve this. Previously, access to an individual’s care plan for a resident, family or a representative was by appointment only, and during the pandemic this became even more difficult and challenging. But the most advanced CMS packages now include apps for family and/or representatives, as well as the resident themselves, meaning that a resident and their representatives can drive how they wish to be cared for to a level not seen before. This gives the resident and their representatives real ownership, oversight, and involvement in how they are cared for. It also allows providers to look beyond purely clinical outcomes, to monitor other areas of the care service. This could include using accumulated data and the care team’s practice in involving a resident in their care, to assess wellbeing. Beyond the care plan, technological advances allow families access to their loved one’s care in a live context, formalising a previously informal monitoring role.

Although the detail of CQC’s framework has yet to be announced, those providers using technology such as that described above can be confident that they are ‘ahead of the game’ in preparing for what is to come.


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