October 19, 2023

Social Care HR Leaders Network identifies key workforce implications of new CQC Framework

Health and social care

With the new CQC Framework due to be implemented imminently, HR leaders need to ensure they understand the new regulatory landscape. At a recent Social Care HR Leaders Network meeting, HR leaders from across the sector discussed the key provisions of the new framework for HR professionals.

What’s staying the same?

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 will remain, as will CQC’s five key questions: Is a service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led?

What’s changing?

The “prompts” or questions that CQC use currently to determine whether a service is meeting the KLOEs will be replaced by 34 “topic areas”. CQC have created a series of “quality statements” that are meant to embody what good looks like and these are expressed as “we” statements.  The most significant of these for HR Leaders are:

1. Safe

  • Learning culture

    We have a proactive and positive culture of safety based on openness and honesty, in which concerns about safety are listened to, safety events are investigated and reported thoroughly, and lessons are learned to continually identify and embed good practices.

  • Safe and effective staffing

    We make sure there are enough qualified, skilled and experienced people, who receive effective support, supervision and development. They work together effectively to provide safe care that meets people’s individual needs.

2. Caring

  • Workforce wellbeing and enablement

    We care about and promote the wellbeing of our staff, and we support and enable them to always deliver person centred care.

3. Well-Led

  • Shared direction and culture

    There is an inclusive and positive culture of continuous learning and improvement. This is based on meeting the needs of people who use services and wider communities, and all leaders and staff share this. Leaders proactively support staff and collaborate with partners to deliver care that is safe, integrated, person-centred and sustainable, and to reduce inequalities.

  • Capable, compassionate and inclusive leaders

    We have inclusive leaders at all levels who understand the context in which we deliver care, treatment and support and embody the culture and values of their workforce and organisation. They have the skills, knowledge, experience and credibility to lead effectively. They do so with integrity, openness and honesty.

  • Freedom to speak up

    We foster a positive culture where people feel that they can speak up and that their voice will be heard.

  • Workforce equality, diversity and inclusion

    We value diversity in our workforce. We work towards an inclusive and fair culture by improving equality and equity for people who work for us.

  • Learning, improvement and innovation

    We focus on continuous learning, innovation and improvement across our organisation and the local system. We encourage creative ways of delivering equality of experience, outcome and quality of life for people. We actively contribute to safe, effective practice and research.

How to prepare

  1. Review the key questions and quality statements: Key questions and quality statements – Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk)
  1. Review the categories of evidence (which differ by service type):
  1. Audit current evidence of compliance and identify any gaps or areas of improvement required for compliance with the new Framework.
  1. Arrange training for managers and care workers on the new CQC Framework, particularly the quality statements and evidence categories, and ensure they are confident in explaining them if they are asked to give feedback by CQC.

Calling Social Care HR Leaders

The Social Care HR Leaders Network is a peer network bringing together HR leaders from across the sector to collaborate, share ideas, and support each other to find solutions to the workforce challenges. It’s also an opportunity to discuss the key strategic issues of the day with insights from other sector experts.

The Network was created almost two years ago, following the challenges of the COVId-19 pandemic for HR leaders in care and is hosted by James Sage, HR & Employment Partner, and Head of Health & Social Care at law firm RWK Goodman, Amanda Marques, Director at Cohesion and Neil Eastwood, bestselling author of Saving Social Care and founder of Care Friends.

Any HR Director, Chief People Officer, HR Manager, or equivalent who would like to join the Social Care HR Leaders Network should contact James Sage on [email protected].

RWK Goodman also host the Social Care HR Group on Linkedin for all HR professionals in care to stay up to date with key HR and employment law developments affecting the sector: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9101045/

Claire Leake, People Director, National Care Group said:

“Joining the Social Care HR Leaders Network calls has provided a regular opportunity to connect with peers in the sector.  Our discussion points are topical and reflect the challenges that HR professionals face.  It’s a safe space to share ideas and feedback on how we’re addressing the headwinds and it’s good to know that we’re in it together.”

James Sage, Partner and Head of Health & Social Care at RWK Goodman said:

“In setting up the Social Care HR Leaders Network it was our mission to help solve the workforce crisis in social care through the creation of a peer network for HR leaders to find innovative ways to solve existing workforce challenges and discuss the key legal and people issues on the horizon. The amount of expertise, experience and insight in the network is phenomenal”.

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