In 2016 the CQC laid out their 5-year strategy titled ‘shaping the future’, which encompassed four priorities that they wanted to focus on right up until last year. Well, here we are in 2022 and I think it’s safe to say that no one could’ve foreseen 2021 five years ago.
With some light at the end of the tunnel we can all agree that the state of health and adult social care is in a very different place than it was even just two years ago. So, what should the CQC be taking into consideration for the next five years of care?
The lessons of 2020 & 2021
Transparency through digital health
The importance of digital health has been expressed by countries all over the world, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and this last year has shown just how crucial a role it can and should play.
Digital health only works when it benefits everyone, therefore there needs to be an impetus for digital health solutions to work in tandem together and contribute to a culture of transparency between the health and care service delivery systems.
“Empathy for healthcare professionals should be at the root of all of products and content. And it feels like both the world and digital health products need an empathy revolution. Empathy is big.”
Now more than ever the CQC should be working with both digital health companies and healthcare providers to bridge the gap between the two sectors. If digital health services better understand the needs and processes of the health sector, then the reasons to adopt and implement these highly beneficial solutions would be a lot clearer.
Digitising and standardising health records
As mentioned by Gather’s MD, Hugo Spalding in the latest ‘care sector update’ only about 40% of care homes actually have digital health records. With NHSX’s aim to have all health records digitised by 2024, the CQC could help the encouragement of healthcare providers to implement these digital health records.
To achieve this providers need to standardise the method of both collecting and inputting data. This will contribute to a streamlined healthcare system that will provide data that actually betters the level of care providers can offer.
Consistent and accurate data can be used on a local and national government level to help influence policies and the allocation of resources to the areas that need it most. Something like this in place would be indispensable to our national healthcare providers but the encouragement needs to be put onto them for this digitisation to take off.
Measuring Infection prevention
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a ‘learning on the job experience’ for a lot care providers, especially within care homes as the impacts on both physical and mental health have been severe.
A concerning factor for vulnerable residents in care homes, is even when the pandemic is behind us and movement/ visiting restrictions are lifted the usual illnesses and infections felt all year round will remain. Care homes are at risk from infectious disease such as:
- Winter vomiting
- Chest Infections
These relatively common infections can cause serious problems for elderly and vulnerable residents. Care homes already have a duty to report suspected outbreaks or incidents of infections to the local Health Protection Team, however they receive little in the way of data by return that can help them prevent these infections from spreading and causing further harm.
We’re calling on the CQC to implement ‘infection prevention’ as one of their criteria for care home inspections. Empowering care homes to source digital health solutions that already exist for the purpose of identifying and managing infections for care homes specifically.
If you’d like to read on how one of these solutions actually helped a care home then read our case study on Renovo Group’s: Swanborough House.
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