The new Care Quality Commission Assessment Framework


The new Care Quality Commission assessment framework 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It ensures that these services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, and high-quality care. One of its key functions is to monitor, investigate, and review service providers like Birchwood House and produce a report about their performance and quality of care. At the end of 2023, the CQC announced changes to the way that it carries out its assessments. 

What is the CQC assessment framework and how will it change? 

The CQC applies an assessment framework to providers, local authorities and integrated care systems to determine the quality of their service. Birchwood House is considered a care provider. The framework criteria use five key questions (is the service provider safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led) and a four-point rating scale (outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate) to assess performance. 

The new framework will use a system of scores to help assess what rating is given, applying scores to each quality statement. Quality statements clearly describe the standards of care that people should expect. Using scoring as part of its assessments will help the CQC be clearer and more consistent about how it has reached a judgement on the quality of care in a service. 

The quality statement scores are combined to give a total score for the relevant key question. This score generates one of the four ratings for each key of the five key questions. The CQC then aggregate the scores for key questions to give a rating for its view of quality at an overall service level. 

What can residents and staff expect during a CQC assessment? 

The CQC’s evidence collection process will likely involve a visit to the service provider, in this case, Birchwood House, to assess on-site activity. They may or may not give notice of when the visit will occur. During the visit, the CQC team or representative will: 

  • Observe care and how staff interact with people  
  • Observe the care environment, including equipment and premises  
  • Speak to people using the service – i.e. Birchwood House residents  
  • Speak to staff and service leaders 

Birchwood House residents will have the opportunity to be involved in the assessment and have their say. We encourage everyone to feel empowered to share their honest thoughts, feelings, and feedback with the CQC. As an example, the CQC team may ask residents and staff questions relating to the quality of service and care, the attitude and behaviour of staff, or efficacy of systems and processes.  

For more information on the how CQC collects evidence, please speak with a member of staff or visit this CQC page

This new scoring system might mean that Birchwood House’s assessment will change, as we are due for our yearly quality assurance survey soon. However, as always, we are committed to providing the best quality care to our residents and are continuously looking at how we can improve our service to ensure we do so. 

Upcoming residents and relative feedback forum 

Birchwood House will also be hosting an informal Feedback Forum on February 8. Residents and relatives are invited to attend the event to share their feedback with the team. There will be light refreshments on offer. 

Have your say 

As always, our friendly and knowledgeable team of staff are on hand to help guide residents through the process and explain any changes so that they feel comfortable, confident and prepared to engage with the CQC if they want to. It is important that everyone understands that they have the opportunity to provide honest feedback to an independent and impartial review body (such as the CQC through their assessment) and feel empowered and supported to do so.

You can also leave a review with by clicking here to fill out the online form.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our team to help assist you. We also recommend the CQC’s helpful webpage, which you can access here

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