Carers Trust submitted a response to the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) next phase of regulation consultation. Carers Trust's recommendations are aimed towards ensuring that:
- the inspection regime and regulated service recognise and value carers' voices in service provision and the quality of that service;
- carers are seen as partners in care;
- services also have systems in place to ensure carers are given the support they need at the time they need it – alongside providing services to the person with care needs.
Carers Trust has eight overarching recommendations which we believe will strengthen the CQC inspection regime and ensure the more collaborative approach that CQC seeks. We recommend that:
- The CQC works with carers and carer organisations to ensure that the new programme of monitoring and inspection from April 2017 include key lines of enquiry concerning carers, and that evidence of impact and improvement of care for carers is used in determining whether a provider is found to be either "Good" or "Outstanding".
- The CQC routinely includes carers in its key lines of inquiry for inspections of adult social care and health services, to ensure carers' voices form a central part of the inspection process.
- The CQC should check that staff in care homes and GPs have had carer awareness training and can demonstrate through discussion that they are carer aware.
- CQC inspections should ensure that services are making sure that carers' needs are met. As more people use health and social care services for longer, it will become more important for carers to have clear information about local services to ensure that they are confident in the service being provided to the person they care for and that their own needs as carers are met.
- The CQC should use clear and standardised language in the inspection frameworks when referring to carers. The current inconsistent phrasing about carers may be open to interpretation by both the inspectors and service provider.
- The mention of carers are made more explicit in Inspection frameworks, Key Lines of Enquiries (KLOEs), prompts and ratings characteristics, in line with CQC Strategy.
- The CQC should use the wording used in the Health Framework Key Line of Enquiry C2.6 – "Are people’s carers, family members and friends…" – throughout both frameworks and other related documents. This would better align the frameworks with the CQC’s Strategy, better support staff to identify carers and help individuals self-identify as carers. It would also highlight the importance of carers, whilst also acknowledging that not all family members or friends of the person with care needs are necessarily their carers.
- There is one instance of the word "carer" being used to mean paid care workers. We recommend this is clarified, and we do not support the use of the word "carer" to mean a paid care worker. The term carer means an unpaid carer, not a paid care worker.
To find out more please email Carers Trust's policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org