Welcome back to a brief update of my South West London mental health carers forum. It is not like my other forums since this one tends to be a hybrid of peer support and carer engagement. Plus its probably my largest carer forum which cover’s 5 boroughs or six boroughs if we engage with NHS South West London CCG, because the commissioners cover six boroughs that being the borough of Croydon.
Anyway, one of the main focus is on how South West London & St George engages with unpaid carers, especially about mental health services, but the forum can then become a networking forum for other carers even outside SW London as sometimes national speakers may appear.
The speakers for August were
Elizabeth Stirling the new CQC inspector for SWLSTG
Tristan Brice from London Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
Elizabeth presents on what the CQC is about
Since the CQC spoke at length regarding roles and plans, I can’t blog too much about that, however Elizabeth was kindly referred to engage with our group since their interested in how the group is supported.
Elizabeth spoke on the following.
- How she has Worked in health and social care for 23 years
- Worked as a support worker for four years
- How she has been a Social worker since 2005
- Worked for Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
- Has lived experience on caring regarding mental health.
Elizabeth then moved onto what the CQC does as in that the Care Quality Commission monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety, and they publish what they find, including performance ratings to help people choose care.
The CQC also set out what good and outstanding care looks like, and they make sure services meet fundamental standards below which care must never fail. Obviously, the CQC use information and evidence throughout their work, including people’s views and experiences of care. The CQC work closely with the public, other organisations and local groups across everything they do, that includes patients and carers of course.
Next Elizabeth explained the core fundemental standards for the CQC and what they look for. These would be
Dignity and respect
Safeguarding from abuse
Food and drink
Premises and equipment
To also mention although the above is important, the CQC do look for other things as well. With the list above, they apply to fundemental standards that apply to mental health trusts
There was a very long Q&A session regarding these standards that apply to the rating of SWLSTG, but the important distinction was that it was coming from a carer’s perspective.
Each of those standards mentioned must follow a criteria of questions usually 5 of them, which are
Safe: you as the patient protected from abuse and avoidable harm.
Effective: your care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes, helps you to maintain quality of life and is based on the best available evidence.
Caring: staff involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
Responsive: services are organised so that they meet your needs.
Well-led: the leadership, management and governance of the organisation make sure it’s providing high-quality care that’s based around your individual needs, that it encourages learning and innovation, and that it promotes an open and fair culture.
Of course there has been a massive impact regarding how the CQC works and I had asked Elizabeth to talk in depth on covid-19.
Elizabeth talked about how the CQC had to adapt on how they work. This was a mix of on-site and off-site methods. In March 2020, the CQC suspended their routine inspection programme in response to COVID-19 and developed their ability to monitor services using a mix of on-site and off-site methods. Other changes were on improving the CQC’s ability to monitor risk to help them be more targeted in their regulatory activity. With that, by bringing information together in one place for inspection teams, presented in a way that supports inspectors with their decision making and by testing elements of how they want to work in the future, including how they provide a more up-to-date view of risk for people who use services.
I myself have always stressed to carer’s that the CQC is not a one way system, unpaid carer’s must provide the CQC with information and also requests so carers are working in partnership with the CQC. Elizabeth expanded on this by stating Information from patients and carers is very important to the CQC. All the information the CQC receive will be added to the records they have for each care service. The CQC can use this information to help decide where to inspect next, and what to look at when they do. When the CQC receive information about a concern for someone’s safety, they will treat it as urgent.
The CQC also use what people tell them to understand the quality of care they get from services like care homes, care agencies, hospitals and GPs. It helps make care better for everybody.
Again there was a very long question and answer session from members of the forum, but for those reading this blog please see the below.
CQC Feedback site : https://www.cqc.org.uk/give-feedback-on-care?referer=promoblock
You can also call the National Customer Service Centre (NCSC) on 03000 616161 or email email@example.com.
- Tristan Brice presents
To be honest the conversation stretched so long with the CQC, that Tristan had to come back another day, which I will blog at a later date.
This is the brief august update of my SW London mental health carer forum.