We recently underwent our first CQC inspection and a report was generated by them. We are challenging some of the topics they have downgraded us for a variety of reasons and this process is on-going via an appeals process.
We were very excited to see that in all aspects of the report regarding our care, responsiveness to patients needs and dignity, our clinical processes and screening and how we audit our service and treatments and patient feedback that we achieved a good rating. This can be seen in the report.
Two areas were perceived by the inspector on the day, who had not assessed a private practice before, to be “inadequate”. We challenged this at the time and a copy of this factual accuracy report, where we sought to clarify and evidence such matters can be found below.
The two areas in dispute relate to “safety” and being “well-led”. We wholeheartedly disagree with such statements. This following response is to provide further background to the report and our thoughts relating to this.
All our clinic sites are directly or indirectly Regulated by CQC as they are third party compliant facilities. We individually assessed and monitored these facilities as an ongoing process. We purposely selected CQC registered clinics as our partners, even before we registered with the CQC, due to the high levels of standards required for our patients and nurses safety. We have good relationships with all the site managers and meet regularly at least 1-2 times a year face to face, whilst being in constant contact to ensure we respond to new directives appropriately, This was especially important during the pandemic.
What is extraordinary is that CQC only visited one location, did not speak to any of our practitioners and still made the conclusion it did.
All our nurses regularly audit the premises and infection control processes as well as adhering to company policies, procedures and directives, and in fact meet as a team on a monthly basis to keep up-to-date. All of this was explained to the CQC, but they did not arrange suitable time to speak to any of the nurses to ascertain that they feel well led or supported, hence the downgrading. It is our opinion that the inspection was not completed as it is supposed to be.
The nurses have free and open access to all the policies and procedures in the form of a central policy portal and an internal nurses portal for direct communication out of working meetings as well as a dedicated training academy.
All nurses are appraised annually to ensure they are up-to-date with regulatory requirements and mandatory training, and this was demonstrated and seen. In our opinion, this makes the report severely flawed as it is a key part of the inspection process. and simply has not been completed. The CQC Inspector admitted not to have seen a business model like ours, and didn’t understand that our nurses are not “staff”, but are independent practitioners working under our umbrella. All our nurses have other jobs in the NHS which helps to keep them up-to-date with their individual skill sets, and keep us up-to-date with our clinical practice.
We have therefore sought a ratings review on the CQC report for the following reasons:
1: It is stipulated that the inspection was incomplete as it was drawn to a premature conclusion.
2: We feel the ratings regarding “safe”, “effective” and “well led” would be vey different had the nurses been interviewed. There was a miscommunication regarding access to our nurses, again due to a misunderstanding by the inspector as to how our business model works. We have since submitted evidence help clarify such matters in the factual accuracy form to enable this to be completed which has not happened.
Therefore we perceive that the report is neither complete nor accurate. We would like the evidence to be reassessed and the inspection to be completed fully.
Please see our full response to CQC findings below: