LMC releases safeguarding guidance to help practices improve CQC ratings

Londonwide LMCs has developed guidance to help practices comply with CQC safeguarding expectations after finding that many have been caught out by inspectors in this area.

CQC inspection: Practices caught out on safeguarding
CQC inspection: Practices caught out on safeguarding

Problems with meeting the CQC’s safeguarding requirements are contributing to many practices being given lower ratings, according to an analysis of inspection reports by the LMC, prompting it to develop a resource to inform practices what the watchdog expects of them.

GP safeguarding processes in relation to vulnerable adults are ‘often less well-covered than child protection', the LMC warned, and can be flagged up under scrutiny in CQC inspections.

The guidance is intended to offer practices ‘real insight and practical tips’ on how to achieve compliance, the LMC says.

Among the recommendations, it says that practices should assign a named safeguarding lead, be aware of the practice’s safeguarding and chaperone policies, and be able to provide evidence that vulnerable patients are prioritised for appointments.

Map: CQC GP ratings

The LMC looked at 20 CQC reports on London practices that were rated ‘requires improvement’ or lower in order to build the resource, the ‘first time’ it has conducted such an in-depth analysis.

‘We realised that CQC inspectors had really delved into the safeguarding agenda and these reports provided a wealth of information about what CQC expected,’ it said.

The results have been compiled into a table, which can be accessed from the group’s website.

‘The table contains the most common themes highlighted in these reports, maps them against each of the five key lines of enquiry the CQC uses to assess practices during inspection and gives examples of how compliance can be evidenced.

‘Some themes are repeated across the five key lines of enquiry, as certain findings apply to more than one key line of enquiry and to a number of different population groups. It is also evident that safeguarding is a truly wide area that impacts on a number of other aspects of practice activity.’

CQC deputy chief inspector Sally Warren, the watchdog’s safeguarding lead, said: ‘The CQC would welcome any information or guidance that helps providers makes sure that they are delivering care that is safe, effective, compassionate and of high-quality.’

She added that the CQC has released advice for practices on safeguarding adults and safeguarding children as part of its ‘myth busters’ series.

Photo: iStock

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