September 27, 2017

CQC takes a firmer approach to providers caring for people with a learning disability

What is CQC trying to achieve?

In its June policy document, CQC made it clear that registration decisions will be aimed at making sure that care for people with a learning disability and/or autism is developed and designed in line with their best practice guidance. New homes should not be developed as part of a campus style setting. Instead, providers will need to demonstrate that they can provide appropriate, person-centred care in accordance with that guidance, which promotes choice, inclusion, control and independence.

"Six or fewer"

Small services "usually accommodating six or fewer" will be lauded as being best practice. However, in a welcome shift from its previous stance, CQC has stated that it will not adopt 'six' as a rigid rule. Instead, it acknowledges that it may register providers who have services that are small scale, but accommodate more than six people, where providers are able to demonstrate that they meet the fundamental standards and best practice guidance.

What are the implications for care providers?

While this may ease immediate concerns for learning disability providers, and their funders, it is clear from the outcome of CQC's consultation that providers who operate larger, more rural homes may have their work cut out to show CQC that they are meeting the required standards.

Although CQC state that they "do not wish to be overly prescriptive", we suspect that larger-scale providers will need to be increasingly innovative to maintain ratings. The key will be to demonstrate through evidence that their model promotes the requirements set out in CQC's policy.

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