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Covid-19 - CQC

CQC Updates

CQC have a webpage with updates for providers about coronavirus (COVID-19). This webpage is updated by CQC as advice and guidance changes due to the pandemic. It is a useful resource as any changes they make to their pages that mention coronavirus are listed automatically. They might be major changes or minor ones. One query CQC say they are asked about frequently is around mandatory training considerations in general practice and they have updated their webpage  Nigel's surgery 70 that deals with this including during Covid -19

CQC Emergency Support Framework (ESF)

The Emergency Support Framework covers the areas of:-

Governance and Assurance process

  1. Safe care and treatment
  2. Staffing arrangements
  3. Protection from abuse
  4. Assurance processes, monitoring and risk

There are routine questions in relation to some of the domains, but not all, as the ESF is for COVID 19 support conversations only. CQC will call practices to check on how the practice is coping and are there areas they need support with or that CQC could signpost them too. We are further advised by CQC that an inspector may not ask every question listed, particularly when other pieces of intelligence they hold suggest that this area is secure.

Indicators CQC will use to prioritise assessments

Your inspector will use their knowledge of your service and will look at some specific indicators for the data that they hold to help decide what risk you may be facing.

The information they use will evolve as the situation changes, moving from this initial focus on what they know about services from existing data, to a focus on COVID-related priorities and recovery plans.

This is the list of questions for the ESF phone call.These questions can be downloaded and printed here.

1. Safe care and treatment

1.1 Had risks related to infection prevention and control, including in relation to COVID-19, been assessed and managed?

Also consider (where relevant): 

1.2 Were there sufficient quantities of the right equipment to help the provider manage the impact of COVID-19?

1.3 Was the environment suitable to containing an outbreak?

Also consider (where relevant):

1.4 Were systems clear and accessible to staff, service users and any visitors to the service?

Also consider (where relevant):

1.5 Were medicines managed effectively? (Including prescribing and management of medicines)

If a dispensing GP practice:

1.6 Had risk management systems been able to support the assessment of both existing and COVID-19 related risks?


2. Staffing arrangements

2.1 Were there enough suitable staff to provide safe care and treatment in a dignified and respectful way during the COVID-19 pandemic?

2.2 Were there realistic and workable plans for managing staffing levels if the pandemic leads to shortfalls and emergencies?


3. Protection from abuse

3.1 Were people using the service being protected from abuse, neglect and discrimination?

Also consider (where relevant):

3.2 Had the provider been able to properly manage any safeguarding incidents or concerns during the pandemic?


4. Assurance processes, monitoring and risk management

4.1 Had the provider been able to take action to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of staff?

4.2 Had the provider been able to implement effective systems to monitor and react to the overall quality and safety of care?

4.3 Is the provider able to support staff to raise concerns during the pandemic?

4.4 Had care and treatment provided to people been sufficiently recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic?

4.5 Had the provider been able to work effectively with system partners when care and treatment is commissioned, shared or transferred?


CQC have asked that we share the links below as they feel they will be helpful to practices and may answer some questions they may have.


Hot & Cold Sites

Where practice premises are being used to run hot and cold sites there is no need to amend your Statement of Purpose as the premises are already registered with CQC for the provision of GMS services.

Where other premises are being used to provide essential GMS services, then those premises will need to be added to your statement of purpose.

In either case, if your staff are working from sites other than your own practice premises you and the site eg other practice, will need to agree who takes responsibility for those staff when they are working there. The LMC view is that, as the staff members contract is with you, then you retain responsibility for them and they remain accountable to you no matter where they are working.

In these instances an MOU will be required between the 2 practices agreeing this.

Where the hot site is not another GP practice but is a community hospital or other trust, then that Trust will need to add the GP service to its regulated activities and again, an MOU will be required in respect of any GP staff working at that location.

The BMA have created a proforma statement of purpose should you wish to use it.

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Updated on Friday, 18 September 2020 372 views