CQC Ratings – What They Are Looking For, And How You Can Improve

The CQC are an independent regulator that monitor and inspect health and social care services across the UK. The CQC aim to ensure that a compassionate and high standard of care is provided across all parts of an organisation.

SPRINGFIELD, CHOCOLATE WORKS CARE VILLAGE, CARE, care home, interior design, cqc

Springfield, Chocolate Works Care Village

What are the regulations?

Organisations must demonstrate how they meet the fundamental standards of care. These 28 regulations cover the need for consent, nutrition, staffing and much more. After an inspection is carried out, one of a four-star rating will be awarded to the service. These are:

  • Outstanding – Meaning the service is performing exceptionally well, with little to no need for improvement
  • Good – The service is performing well and meeting expectations, with small needs for improvement
  • Requires improvement – The service is not performing as well as it should, and has been told how it must improve
  • Inadequate – The service is performing badly and action has been taken against the person or organisation that runs it

What underpins good and outstanding care?

CQC guidelines state that good leadership is a central part of improvement, and that patients should be receiving improved quality of care despite tight financial constraints and increased demand on the services. Here are some of our top tips to achieve an outstanding care rating, or improve on your current score.

Use what works

Chances are if you’re facing an issue, another organisation has experienced it too. There are a vast selection of resources online which show how other organisations have overcome issues. If you provide adult care, Care Improvement Works provides resources and support based on the five fundamental questions inspections are based on; how safe, how effective, how responsible, how good is the care, and how well-led the service is. You can also look at case studies from previous inspections, and how those organisations have improved here.


Quick fixes aren’t always good fixes

We know that time and budgets are tight, but never underestimate the commitment and effort sustainable improvement takes. Quick stick plasters or yellow hazard tape may solve a problem quickly and temporarily, but can sometimes cause more harm than good. Get everyone involved in aiming to achieve an outstanding rating; small changes and behaviours can all help out in the long run, and it’s easier to aim high when you have the whole team’s support.

Be inspired

Taking a look at other good or outstanding reports will give you tips that you can relay onto your team and organisation. You can also arrange visits to other centres, to meet with staff or directors and ask them questions personally.

Listen to everyone

From cleaners to patients, different people with different roles will be able to give insights into specifics or parts of your services you may not have experienced yourself. Somebody like a cleaner may spot issues before they turn into spreading illnesses, and a patient may allow insight to the specifics in their day to day lives, whether it’s the friendliness of staff or how quickly their calls are answered. Families and carers of patients can also offer a view into how they feel a service can be improved.


A CQC inspection intends to make sure that every patient has the best care possible and treatment tailored just for them. Every organisation must provide person-centred care, based on their needs and preferences.

Alongside fantastic care, environments should be safe, clean, and allow suitable living for patients. Do your curtains, blinds and fabrics cause a hindrance around CQC inspections? Are they easily cleanable, or do they need replacing? Take a look at our case studies for inspiration around modern design and fitting curtains and blinds, or contact our expert team to discuss your idea or project.


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