New CQC regulations are an opportunity to build trust in care homes
Posted by: Alistair Clay | 09.04.15

 

If you’re a care home operator a new transparent style of Care Quality Commission inspection is coming your way – and we believe this is an opportunity to build trust in your brand…


From this month onwards providers in England will be required by legislation to follow new regulations called the ‘fundamental standards‘, which are more focused and clearer about the care that people should always expect to receive.

Crucially there are also new requirements for providers to be open about mistakes when they happen (the ‘duty of candour’).

This heralds in an era of greater accountability and transparency and providers need to have an effective PR and communications strategy in place to share the good news, but also to explain the less favourable inspection results should they transpire.

Under the new CQC system providers will be judged Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate and required to prominently display their ratings on their websites, as well as at premises, public entrances and waiting areas of care services.

How you handle these communications requirements matters hugely.

If your facility doesn’t get a desirable rating how do you share that information in a way that indicates you accept the findings but are committed to turning things around as swiftly as possible? How do you maintain the confidence of your residents and their loved ones in your care services during this time? How do you stop your local reputation suffering irreparable damage and hitting occupancy targets when the news is all over the local press?

These communications challenges need careful consideration and the messaging, its tone and the methods you use to share this news should be thoroughly thought through.

It is possible to limit the damaging effect of ‘bad’ news on your reputation. Showing humility, accepting responsibility and a commitment to work tirelessly to fix a problem, all go a long way to showing your key stakeholders that your number one concern is the welfare of your residents and your desire to only offer the highest quality care.

The new CQC regulations are offering providers an opportunity to open an honest, authentic and transparent dialogue with their audiences.

Of course at times, due to the nature of care, these conversations can be challenging, but providers that engage openly will be in a much better position to move forwards from any setbacks.

Transparency in social care is here to stay, see it as an opportunity, not as a threat.