How RotaCloud helps care providers meet the new CQC Standards

Becky Mundie

Apr 2024 ⋅ 7 min read

A grey-haired man and a young man with Down's Syndrome laugh together.

Since the new framework for CQC inspections was put into action, it is vital for care providers to know what has changed in order to pass their evaluations.

If you missed this update, you can read our latest blog post, 5 steps to meet the new CQC framework: A Care Home Checklist, where we cover the framework changes and how to master them.

CQC wants to see that your care services are safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led. All of what they regulate comes back to these 5 standards and seeing evidence of such. 

So, especially under the new framework for CQC inspections, how can care providers ensure they continuously meet these standards?


Someone typing on a laptop with a stethoscope lying to its side.

Checklist for CQC compliance

We spoke to Nicola, manager at Kelso Care, which specialises in looking after people with learning disabilities and complex needs through supported living.

With 27 years of experience in social care, we asked Nicola about meeting the CQC Standards, how she goes about preparing for an inspection under the Quality Statements framework, and what she thinks is important to implement in ensuring smooth-sailing, effective care services.

1) Digitalise your rotas and reporting

Many authorities under CQC’s new framework agreements have insisted that care providers use digital platforms. 

By digitising your rotas, records, and reports - everyone benefits. Your clients, staff, and even CQC. No more trawling through paperwork, spending hours to days on comparing rotas to timesheets. Plus, digitalising everything offers an automatic audit trail that can work towards your quality assurance. It saves valuable time, in your day-to-day and in preparing records to send to CQC, and it saves money.

“With local authorities, what they pay you to deliver care - a very small percentage of that is towards operational costs. So that time spent comes out of that - that pot of money, without question.”

Transitioning all of this into just a click of a button is priceless when it smooths processes and leaves more time and money for essential care.

2) Be flexible

By being flexible, you demonstrate that you have a responsive service. 

Say, for example, a client has a hospital appointment: by putting on additional staff that day, you prove how responsive you can be - while showing evidence for this in your rotas.

The same goes for staff, too. By offering open shifts, a mix of short and long, you give staff the freedom to take on extra hours to earn more.

3) Oversee everything

Having insight and utter control over budgets and who is on shift at what locations can be essential to make a well-led service.

It follows on from digitalising everything. If you are asked or you simply wonder who is on shift one day, gone are the days of ringing around - simply opening an app gives you full oversight. Knowing where work is needed, too, can massively cut down on agency fees, too!

4) Listen to client & staff feedback

Allowing staff to raise concerns and submit suggestions or feedback is essential. A main concern is staff wanting to know far in advance when they’re working and trust that their wages will be correct. Many work month-to-month and a payment mistake can mean a missed weekly shop.

Listening to staff feedback like this can truly turn a workplace and workforce around. Showing you have listened and solved such problems shows CQC that you are responsive. 

5) Organised in the background

"It’s very very important that we are well organised in the background so that the services are being delivered at the coalface in a nice structured and organised way.”

Nicola has worked in care services where she has rota’d 4,000 hours a week. From experience, when staff don’t know what they’re doing, Nicola described it as ‘chaotic’. For a smoother-sailing, polished service, behind the scenes needs to match.


“Happy staff is happy service users. That’s how it’s driven. And RotaCloud enables us to do that.” 

A close up of two people holding hands. One hand has a wedding band on their finger.

How can RotaCloud help care companies towards being CQC compliant?

Let’s break it down into the CQC 5 Standards.

Safe

You can easily see and provide evidence that you have the correct levels of staff at just a glance, proving that you are a safe service. Even if CQC approaches with understaffing concerns, you can show real-time clocking-in-and-out data, to show who is always on site. There is even an audit trail for everything.

From a safeguarding perspective, too, you can quickly see who was working on certain days without needing to trail through piles of paperwork. This way, you can ensure Safe Planning in relation to Quality Statements.

A screenshot of an employee's automatic timesheet alongside an mobile overview of the day's shifts.
Receive real-time data from automatic timesheets.

Effective

When it comes to manual rotas, mistakes can happen. You can miscommunicate shift changes, overspend on hours and agency use, and often come across pay discrepancies. Instead of spending 2 days comparing rotas to timesheets for payroll, it can be all in one place and take far less time.

“We’ve gone literally from us having to spend maybe 2 days preparing for payroll to it taking us maybe 2 hours - so that’s a huge difference to us.”

This way, you can prove that you have effective workforce management for your Quality Statements. Plus, spending far less time and money on operations and agency use means that time and money is there to spend on your service-users. 

It’s what we said earlier - being organised in the background ensures smooth-sailing services.

A screenshot of RotaCloud's payroll feature, highlighting overtime, leave, and total pay.
Automatic timesheets make payroll a breeze.

Caring

By being flexible with shifts, you can show evidence that you are meeting the needs of the clients you are supporting. Overseeing what the whole team is doing, too, can also mean the difference between having staff with or without the necessary training for one shift or service-user.

“I know that site A, for example - we have 900 hours of care to deliver and RotaCloud enables me to see that those hours have gone into that service and I’m able to produce a monthly report that looks at the planned hours and the actual hours. That enables me to see if we’re under- or over-delivering, and that could potentially highlight any staffing issues, shortages or skill gaps.”

Overseeing such and having spot-on rotas ensures you are providing top-quality care for your clients.

A close-up of the location selection drop-down menu on RotaCloud's desktop rota.
Manage shifts in multiple locations

Responsive

Having oversight of who is working when and where, who is on annual leave, and even the shifts available for cover, means you can be responsive to all your clients’ needs.

For example, a client could ask a staff member who is working with them next week: 

“That would be a series of phone calls. “Can you find the rota?”, “Can you look at the rota for me?”, “Who’s working next week?” - that’s all disappeared. I can say, “Yep, you can go swimming next Thursday because the person who usually takes you is on shift.” So, for planning our services and care, [RotaCloud has] enabled us to be responsive to what the service users want.”

What’s more, with this oversight, you can easily change a shift and not worry about informing others. Everyone is notified of any changes, which takes yet another weight off your shoulders.

Being responsive to staff is key, too. Listening to feedback and offering solutions for their shift and payroll concerns can truly flip their experience. Staff are happier, knowing when they are working so they can have a much healthier work-life balance.

A view of the RotaCloud dashboard on the mobile app, showing clocking in, upcoming shifts, and the entire rota.
Give staff foresight of all upcoming shifts, offer open shifts, and notify all of any changes.

Well-led

Overseeing your whole team and their shifts, being flexible and responsive are all proof of a well-led service. 

By putting your clients first, you can see areas that need improvement in the backend. Unhappy staff, overspending, lost time, messy reports for CQC - all are fixed by using an online workforce management system like RotaCloud. As admin, you’re put in the driving seat and oversee everything. Showing this in CQC inspections proves you run well-led care services.

“If you get your rotas right, your service is run well. If your rotas are a mess and your staff are all over the place, it reflects on the standard of care.”

Senior members of staff can plan their time more effectively, too. When it comes to supervision and planning, managers can easily find when a member of staff they need to speak to is next in, instead of ringing around or wasting time chasing.

A screenshot of an example RotaCloud rota on desktop.
Have oversight of your entire rota and easily drag and drop to change shifts.

“In terms of what RotaCloud does for us for compliance - I am able to see that the hours that we’re planning to deliver are what we are delivering, which ensures that we are doing what we are commissioned to do”

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