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Top tips for Preparing for an Inspection in the UK

November 12, 2018 |

One of our very popular courses is ‘Preparing for an Inspection’, supported by Jill Timms, Care Consultant in Oxfordshire, who offers guidance to anyone needing help with preparation for CQC / LA Inspections.

A qualified Nurse, Jill became a successful Manager of an Oxfordshire Nursing Home for many years, progressing to Area Manager for that Care Home Group; Peverel Court Care. Whilst still working at Peverel Court Care, Jill decided she needed a new challenge, so set up a consultancy: “Helping Manager’s Manage’.

Jill developed her consultancy, mainly around the subjects of CQC Hot Topics of Inspection, Preparation for Inspections and Quality Monitoring, with the development of a Quality Monitoring Toolkit.

Jill has provided some handy ‘top tips’ for preparing for an inspection, helping you and your teams take out the pressure of preparing for an inspection.

Pre Inspection Preparation

  • Make sure you have a proper understanding of what the CQC require of you by law for the inspection and that all staff are equally well informed
  • Be prepared, plan and know how to lead the inspection
  • Use a continuous improvement plan (CIP) to capture opportunities for improvement.
  • Read another service’s inspection report. This will help you understand how other service’s have reached ‘outstanding’ and helps to share best practice. The CQC publishes service’s inspection reports on their website

On the day – Level 1 Actions

Immediately contact and inform the following relevant people:

  • Manager of the Home if not on duty at the time
  • Deputy Manager of the Home if not on duty at the time
  • Director
  • Other Managers
  • Maintenance

On the day – Level 2 Actions

  • Send a member of staff to walk around the home to check all is well and inform staff
  • Staff on Duty – Think/Be Aware/Know what to expect
  • Contact extra staff to come on shift for extra cover
  • Member of staff to shadow the Inspectors and take notes of who they speak to

Documents to show/Give to the Inspectors: Quality Monitoring

  • Quality Assurance and Monitoring Systems/ Audits folder
  • Performance Indicators documents
  • Dependency levels and staff ratios documents
  • Other audits
  • Home ‘Outstanding’ Evidence Folder
  • Compliments and complaints book

Documents to show to the inspectors: Care Plans/Residents

  • Care Plans Monthly Updates
  • Care Plan Reviews with Relatives
  • Care Plans MDT involvement
  • Care plans DoLs/MCA/ Best Interest Assessments
  • Care Plans Weights monitoring and Risk Management
  • Care Plans Resident Feedback and Relatives involvement
  • Resident/Relatives Meetings minutes and Action Plans
  • Activities evidence in Care Plans and activities folders
  • Medicine Management
  • Safeguarding incidents/alerts and Safeguarding Policy

Documents to show to the inspectors: Staff

  • Supervisions and Appraisals Matrix
  • Staff files – safe recruitment
  • Training Matrix
  • Staff meeting minutes and Action Plans

Remember, during the inspection make sure you share what you are doing and highlight what you are learning. Inspectors have highlighted the importance of transparency in regards to making mistakes. Make sure you are open and honest with the inspector and demonstrate how you have learnt from a mistake to avoid or minimise recurrence.

After inspection

Make sure you shout about your successes, even if your good or outstanding rating is a surprise, it is always something to celebrate.

Share with staff, celebrate together

  • Recognise the great work you have done and reward your staff
  • Ensure staff read the report and reflect upon it in team meetings
  • Encourage them to share the good news with family and friends

Share with the wider community

  • Write and issue a press release and make sure the story is covered in the local press and radio
  • Celebrate your success on social media and demonstrate to the wider community what success looks like
  • Embed your good news on your website, write a blog, even make a short video to celebrate your success and share with your community

For more information on how you can prepare for your inspection, please click here.

To find out more about how Jill Timms Consultancy can help you and your care home, please visit or email

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