Update on CQC

CQC are currently changing the way they work whilst continuing to deliver their purpose, they aim to:

  1. Offer regulation that’s even more relevant to today's challenges, and that benefits everyone
  2. Adapt to the new and innovative types of services using new digital channels to deliver care
  3. Be in a better place for the future to support services to keep people safe.

CQC will be regulating in a simpler, more flexible way to reflect the future changes that they can anticipate, as well as those they can’t. They are aiming to be smarter, keeping pace with how health and care is changing. This means a more dynamic approach to regulating:

  1. Harnessing information from all sources to continually assess quality and update ratings
  2. Assessments that focus on what matters to people as they access, experience, and move between services
  3. Make better use and sharing information with others in the Health & Social Care System: collect it once and use it many times
  4. Make it easier for services to work with them.

In terms of inspections for Mersey Care NHS Trust CQC continues to take a risk based approach with regular engagement calls held between the CQC Trust Inspection Officer and the Trust to complete the Transitional Monitoring App (TMA), which is part of the transitional regulatory approach. 

The TMA is a prioritisation tool that is used to aid decisions about risk and action needed in a consistent manner. It has been built on learning from the Emergency Support Framework. It can be carried out at trust level or at core service level and may be undertaken on more than one core service. CQC will use information they already hold to populate parts of the TMA to reduce the burden on the trust. As part of the engagement calls, the trust is able to provide evidence to support the information discussed.

Decisions to inspect remain based on risk and can be taken without the completion of a TMA. The TMA is based on our key lines of enquiry. At the moment, there are no CQC plans to send a report as part of the transitional monitoring app although this is likely to be a feature at some point. 

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They aim to make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

The great care and professionalism of staff enabled Mersey Care to be rated 'Good' in the past and there’s a lot of great work going on to make sure our next inspection goes well.

You can find out more about the work of the CQC from their website www.cqc.org.uk

Read our own most recent inspection report here on the CQC's website where you can download the document and read the detail of each area and service.

Due to COVID-19, work to update the below CQC Staff guides where put on hold. The Quality and Compliance Team, alongside colleagues from all divisions and teams, will update these guides in due course.

  • CQC is evolving the way they monitor services due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The transitional monitoring approach helps them target their regulatory activity most effectively. CQC are adapting and developing their methods by using a transitional approach to monitoring services. This focuses on safety, how effectively a service is led and how easily people can access the service.  It includes:
  1. A strengthened approach to monitoring, based on specific existing key lines of enquiry (KLOEs), so we can continually monitor risk in a service
  2. Using technology and our local relationships to have better direct contact with people who are using services, their families and staff in services
  3. Targeting inspection activity where we have concerns
  • After reviewing information that they have about our services, CQC will have a conversation with us either online or by telephone. This is not an inspection and they do not rate services following a call.
  • This call will help them to decide whether they need to take further regulatory action at this time, for example an inspection.
  • CQC’s main approach is to carry out inspections of certain core services followed by an inspection of the well-led key question at trust level. But they will sometimes look at all core services (a comprehensive inspection) and sometimes just look at specific areas of concern (a focused inspection). The planning meeting happens within nine weeks of sending the trust a provider information request (PIR).
  • Formal engagement meetings were put on hold at the start of the pandemic and were replaced with regular meetings with the Lead Inspector and nominated individual. During these meetings verbal updates were provided on the Trust position which included the management of the pandemic, complaints, safeguarding, infection control, concerns and a fast response was required on all these areas.  This process worked well and has offered a good level of assurance to CQC. 
  • The purpose of the formal engagement meetings is to enable CQC to monitor provider performance and actions to support trusts in their quality improvement efforts. This allows CQC to discharge its formal regulatory duty through informed discussion with providers and the Trust also has the opportunity to respond formally to concerns at the earliest opportunity and submit evidence of action taken to provide formal assurance.
  • Mental Health Act visits have continued to take place and these are currently being carried out remotely.

A number of inspectors will visit numerous services across all the divisions, we don’t know which ones or when they will be. Ahead of each inspection, the trust is always asked to provide a lot of information. We will be asked for more during the visits, as they follow key lines of enquiry, questioning and then triangulating the information.

The CQC will visit teams, talk to managers, clinicians, and heads of department and may talk to administrators, receptionists, cleaners, porters and other support staff. They will observe care and any information that links to the patient or service user’s journey. They may ask for feedback and host listening events with you, patients and carers to gain further feedback too.

The purpose of the inspection is to make sure that we are continuing to deliver high quality care to all our service users. We need to show the CQC what a great job we are doing and how we continuously strive for improvement.

The results from the previous CQC inspection for the Trust demonstrated how we deliver safe and effective care. All staff should be proud of the part they play in supporting our patients. There is no doubt that together we make a positive difference to people’s lives.  
The inspectors will be particularly interested in hearing people’s experiences of care, but will also want them to say where they would like to see improvements made in the future.

CQC’s inspection teams will use an updated framework to assess healthcare services, using the key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) and prompts where are appropriate.

This framework replaces the previous separate versions for different types of service (2015), which duplicated many of the KLOEs and prompts. 

CQC have designed this document to simplify the process for organisations that provide more than one type of service,  a copy of it can be found here.

Further information about how CQC monitors, inspects and regulates trusts can be found here

If an inspector visits your building or ward please ensure you check their ID:

  • The CQC inspectors carry ID badges that include:
  1. A photograph of the inspector on the front
  2. A copy of their warrant on the reverse
  3. The signature of their new Chief Executive, Ian Trenholm (older ID badges may have the signature  David Behan).
  • Please ensure that you also ask if they have any contraband items such as mobile phones if they are entering secure areas.
  • If you do receive an out of hours inspection please also alert the Service Coordinator and they will escalate to Bronze and Silver on call.

Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs)

  • CQC’s inspection teams will use an updated framework to assess healthcare services, using the key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) and prompts where are appropriate.
  • This framework replaces the previous separate versions for different types of service (2015), which duplicated many of the KLOEs and prompts. 
  • CQC have designed this document to simplify the process for organisations that provide more than one type of service,  a copy of it can be found here.

If you require any further information regarding CQC or have any questions please contact our Quality and Compliance Team (also known as the CQCTeam) at CQCTeam@merseycare.nhs.uk

A set of 11 posters should be displayed at all sites in your blue lockable board. Please check you have the latest versions and insert them as the picture shows.

You can view the latest versions of our posters below (Updated 31 August 2021)

MerseyCare welcome board.jpgAll areas had new Welcome boards installed (picture left) ahead of the last inspection.


Welcome to Allerton ward.pngSimilarly, new safer staffing boards were installed for most wards (this excludes Ward 35 and specialist learning disability services, where different arrangements have been made).

In agreement with Chief Operating Officers, members of the Communications Team visited all areas of the Trust ahead of the 2018 inspection to ensure that: boards have been installed, correct posters are displayed, relevant and appropriately branded literature is available for staff, service users and visitors.

If you require posters for your site, please email: Communications@merseycare.nhs.uk with your name, service name and full address.

These posters are professionally printed and coated/laminated in line with IPC guidelines.