10 July 2019

What IPs need to know about factual accuracy checks

The appointment of an IP to a care service is something which must be reported to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is likely to result in an early visit by the CQC inspection team.

Once the inspection has been concluded, the CQC will submit a draft inspection report to the service; the service provider will be given the opportunity to check the factual accuracy and completeness of the information CQC have used to reach their judgments and, where applicable, the ratings in the draft report.

Act on inspection report

It is vital that the IP ensures that he or she is made aware of the receipt of the draft inspection report and has the opportunity to respond to it.

This is vital because if the report indicates a reduction in the overall assessment and rating of the service, that will seriously affect the value of the business and make it even more difficult to sell.

The factual accuracy checking process gives the service provider and the IP the opportunity to tell the CQC:-

• Where information is factually incorrect
• Where the evidence used by CQC in the report may be incomplete.

The process gives both inspectors and providers the opportunity to ensure that they see and consider all relevant information that will form the basis of the CQC’s findings. It enables providers and inspectors to consider all the relevant information contributing to the overall ratings.

The inspection report does not need to reference all of the evidence but should include the best evidence available to support the CQC’s judgment.

Prompt response needed

The factual accuracy check form is a standard document which appears on the CQC’s website, but must be completed and returned to them within 10 working days from the date of the email sending the original draft inspection report.

The CQC will not extend the 10 day period unless there are exceptional circumstances. If the IP is unable to respond within 10 working days, he or she must tell the CQC why immediately in writing. The CQC will then use their discretion to determine whether or not exceptional circumstances exist.

If you are in any doubt, please contact Derek Jones at djones@hcrlaw.com or on 0118 945 0159 as a matter of urgency as soon as the draft inspection report arrives.

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Derek Jones, Partner
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