Achieving CQC Excellence for your Care Home
As a care sector manager or owner, you have a very difficult role. This is likely to become even more so as regulations and care sector issues are forecast to become even more demanding. To stay on top of these demands, it will become increasingly important to obtain both practical and affordable legal advice.
This is where we can help.
Having worked with a large number of care sector managers and owners we have devised a comprehensive range of services which will save you time, effort and money.
As commercial solicitors who know the care sector property market inside out, we will provide you with effective solutions to your property needs – whatever the size of your business.
We know the East Anglia landscape very well and with established relationships with local planning authorities, land agents, surveyors, architects and developers, our service is comprehensive and has the all-important care sector focus.
Our involvement with your care business goes beyond just providing safe guidance.
Our commercially minded solicitors understand your opportunities and issues and provide practical outcome-based advice covering, for example, company structure, company ownership, contracts of all kinds and buying or selling your care business.
We can help you to:
- manage risks and safeguard your interests
- avoid future disputes
- protect key components of your business - for example, looking to help you with your responsibilities as managers and directors of companies or as partners in a business.
Put simply, our commercial lawyers want to get you the best deal possible.
As a care provider you will need to comply, not only with the rules relating to regulated care activities, but with the vast array of other regulations with which a business must comply, such as Health and Safety or GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). All these regulations are intended to keep people safe and to allow businesses to operate on a fair ‘level playing field’ environment, excluding or removing those who cannot or will not comply.
When assessing a care business, the CQC wants to see that the care services being provided are safe, effective, caring and responsive to people’s needs and that the organisation is well led. They are known as the ‘five key questions’.
Businesses should follow the ‘PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT’ approach recommended by the HSE.
- your care business must understand its legal duties and risks
- operations cannot be left to run themselves - management systems must be in place
- there should be ongoing routine and incident-led reporting to monitor performance and compliance
- regular audit reviews should take place, implementing recommendations made.
The CQC has a number of different types of action it can take. It is vital to take very early advice to deal effectively with any inspection or investigation carried out by the CQC, or indeed any other regulatory body. We can help with interviews conducted under caution.
HR / Employment
Whether you are a stand-alone HR Manager working in a care home or a manager with no internal HR support, the team at Ashtons HR Consulting can provide you with tailored support.
Operating either on individual projects or on a retainer basis, our experienced team of HR professionals and employment lawyers will work with you to ensure that your people issues are handled in line with employment law and HR best practice.
In addition, we can deliver a range of training programmes (either workshop or bespoke) which are specifically designed for both HR and non HR managers working in the care sector.
This consultancy service is available prior to a CQC inspection where we examine your internal procedures and processes, particularly measured against CQC requirements, to provide a practical implementation guide to substantially improve your likely CQC inspection rating. It also provides peace of mind that your current system is compliant and highlights areas where change may be needed.
This service is also available after a CQC inspection where any adverse issues or criticisms can be addressed and put right, to ensure full CQC compliance as soon as possible and before any further regulatory action.
Should matters require additional specialist advice, we can also provide direct contact to Paul Spencer a leading UK care sector barrister with vast experience of handling cases where CQC is investigating and taking enforcement action of any kind in relation to a care business registration.
This new regulation (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect in May 2018 and all care homes need to take the appropriate steps to comply.
GDPR places a strong emphasis on ensuring that privacy is at the heart of business decision making - “privacy by design’.’ This means that care sector businesses need to take into account and record how their new data processing activities may affect privacy.
- undertake a data audit to identify what categories of personal data are held and processed
- review the legal basis for processing data identified in the audit
- draft new privacy notices
- review your third party agreements
- establish a procedure to detect, report and investigate data breaches
- review and update internal policies
- develop a staff awareness programme.
If your care business becomes involved in a dispute, you need lawyers you can trust and who are tactically astute. At Ashtons Legal we mean business.
We will advise you in a clear and straightforward way to achieve the best solution, whether that be through the courts or by way of mediation.
We can help with:
- commercial / contract disputes
- commercial landlord and tenant disputes
- commercial property disputes
- shareholder disputes
- partnership disputes
- insolvency litigation
- professional negligence claims
- construction litigation, adjudication and arbitration
- debt recovery.
Value Added Services
PR – Reputation Management
If your care sector business is facing a crisis, then managing your external communications is vital. We can devise and implement a media and communications strategy to enable you to get on top of the crisis and to minimize your business risk.
In terms of fees, our clients demand both transparency and certainty, which is why we always offer a number of pricing options, these include:
- fixed fees
- fixed hourly rates
- bespoke monthly retainers offering different service and price packages
- any combination of the above.
All annual retainers are reviewed after three, six and nine months to ensure they are delivering value for money.