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CQC calls on community nurses to raise concerns

The Care Quality Commission has called on district nurses and other community staff to alert it if they have concerns about “secluded” parts of health and social care system.  

Ann Farenden, nurse and national professional advisor with the CQC, said last week that working in the community could be “extremely difficult” for the regulator.

Speaking at a Unison nursing conference in Birmingham, Ms Farenden asked community nurses to “feedback about care” in “secluded areas away from a lot of other practitioners”, such as care homes and patient’s own homes.

“It’s extremely difficult for us to regulate and inspect services in the community that take place in patients’ own homes, for example,” she said.

“We do want to particularly ask district nurses – and other people working in the community who have experience of care homes or where they go into people’s homes – if they have concerns about care in those areas,” she added. “It would be very helpful to us.”

Ms Farenden also called on nurses in general to raise concerns with the CQC and that she was particularly concerned by comments made by delegates at the conference “around staffing levels and the quality of care”.

“It’s also one of our big concerns as well and the impact of increased workload that has on staff and the ability for them to carry out care safely,” she said.

Ms Farenden acknowledged that the CQC’s system of unannounced inspections needed support from frontline staff in highlighting concerns about organisations.  

“We can’t get round to all of those organisations that we regulate every week, every day….so we do rely on what people who use services, the public and staff actually tell us,” she told delegates.

“We can’t always protect and promote people without that sort of involvement. People’s views actually help us prioritise and target where we are going to look.”

She noted that the regulator’s whistleblowing hotline – set up in the wake of the Winterbourne View case – had received 3,000 calls since April.

Readers' comments (4)

  • the cqc are asking us to do their job for them, they should be inspecting and regulating ALL healthcare establishments regardless of whether concerns have been raised or not.

    concerns have been raised and ignored.

    they say they are concerned about staffing levels and quality of care - go on then, introduce staffing levels, inspect wards, ensure there are safe staffing levels, close beds if there are not.

    if they find it difficult to do their job then they need to get more staff in themselve.

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  • Yes But

    Anonymous | 6-Nov-2012 11:29 am

    One of the points that piece raises, is that unless DNs actually shout about under-resourcing leading to inadequate provision of the services provided in patient's own homes, the CQC will never find out about any such issues.

    The CQC is right about that - the CQC cannot investigate care within people's own homes, can it ?

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  • the cqc should have enough staff to be able to inspect all health centres, including district nurses. I don't expect them to be able to go into every clients home but if a client has a concern they need to contact their local health authority or the cqc themselves. if district nurses have a concern then they have to report it the same as the rest of us do.

    I raise staffing concerns all the time and have never had any feedback, no thanks and I don't see anything change.

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 7-Nov-2012 9:55 am

    'if a client has a concern they need to contact their local health authority or the cqc themselves'

    I'm not at all sure, that most patients would understand they could do that - and complaining to PCTs (well, I complained once, about something very complex as it happened) wasn't universally satisfactory, I suspect. I'm not 100% sure who you would complain to, under this revised and fragmented system.

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