Do you know that the CQC now have the power to inspect and rate standalone substance misuse services? The following services can be inspected:
Hospital inpatient-based services
These services provide assessment and stabilisation, and assisted withdrawal, for people with substance misuse problems.
Residential substance misuse services
These services provide care, treatment and support in the community for people with substance misuse problems.
These services provide structured drug and alcohol treatment where people have to be resident at the service in order to receive treatment.
As with other health and social care providers, the CQC inspectors will use measures and evidence supported by professional judgement, to assess specialist substance misuse services against the normal five key questions: Are they safe? Are they effective? Are they caring? Are they responsive to people’s needs? Are they well-led?
Along with this, CQC are moving their approach away from the inspectors being responsible for a wide range of providers, to a model where inspectors specialise in particular areas. This means that inspectors will have specialist knowledge and further training in substance misuse treatment services to inform their regulatory judgement.
Inspections began in late 2018, and the first reports are now becoming available. Initially, independent standalone substance misuse services will be inspected but not rated. While this may be the case, reports will still identify characteristics which will describe what outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate care look like in this sector. This will in turn still have an impact of Providers.
What is concerning, is that many Providers may fall foul at this first stage. A 2016 briefing highlights the findings following an inspection of 68 residential detox services. The CQC found that nearly three in four providers failed in at least one of the fundamental standards of care that everyone has the right to expect; and almost two-thirds of providers were not meeting the requirement for providing safe care and treatment.
Markel Law has an experienced team of solicitors who can assist with both Criminal and Regulatory action by the CQC.
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