• Alex Pycock

CQC Registrations - Important News

The CQC standard timescale for processing a new registration is 12 weeks. This obviously isn’t working. A CQC email seen this week states:

  • ‘we are working on prioritised applications we received in December’

  • ‘if you submitted your application in October and you are still waiting to hear from us, we are sorry for the delay’.

  • ‘we expect to process the remaining applications we received in October by the end of March’

  • ‘we have trained extra staff to work on these applications’

This is very frustrating particularly after CQC set up a new registration department in October 2020- which obviously has run into lots of problems.

Unless this matter is resolved rapidly this could dramatically increase the risk of provider failure and jeopardise care staff jobs and service users’ homes.

If you have a registration caught up in the middle of this, we recommend you record all contact with CQC (create a timeline) as well as emailing (high priority) on a regular basis to emphasise the urgency and importance of the registration being processed. If all else fails then contact your own MP, copying in Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care).

If you are about to put your care home on the market, or make an offer on a care home, what can you do to reduce the non-CQC element of the transaction timescales?

Our experience is that it takes an average of 6-8 weeks from our introduction to a transaction to the CQC New Registration application being submitted. This is frequently due to the relative unpreparedness of both vendor and purchaser in relation to what the CQC process involves, even if they have previous experience of the process.

For vendors its primarily about your policies and procedures. If you intend to sell these as part of the deal then you need to ensure these are up to date, readily accessible i.e. on MS Word and summarised. Some specific policies will be required by the purchaser for their CQC application: Safeguarding, Governance, Organisation chart. Additional staff documents are required: recent rotas and the staff training matrix (in Excel). If your home is CQC rated less than Good, you will need to provide a complete and up to date action plan. Other supplementary documents may be required such as Business Continuity, Emergency Evacuation and Fire Risk Assessment (with an appropriate action plan), so it’s a good idea to ensure these are also digitally accessible and up to date. Finally, your purchaser will need to obtain insurance cover. With covid-19 completing a questionnaire is far more complex and lengthier. Be prepared to provide the purchaser with your insurance claims history, recent covid-19 information, infection control policies etc.

For purchasers the list is longer. As part of the standard set of CQC forms you need decide very early who will be your Nominated Individual as they need an enhanced DBS which can take anything from a few days up to 8 weeks. Without this information the CQC registration can’t be submitted. Next think about the mandatory CQC Financial Viability Statement. This document needs signing off by a bank or accountant who in order to do so require a minimum of three year’s trading and cashflow forecasts of the care home being acquired. Dependent upon your skills, resources and available data this can typically take up to six weeks to source. Creating a detailed narrative to satisfy CQC on how the five KLOES will be met as well as creating Aims and Objectives can be very time-consuming. This is in addition to the answering the core CQC questions on their forms (c115 pages).

HeadWindsCare has assisted with 54 CQC new Registrations in the last 12 months. We work buy side or sell side (or jointly) and take the anxiety out of the process. We coordinate and oversee the whole process and provide pre-populated documents for client review and submission. We communicate effectively and regularly with client’s professional advisors to meet strategic objectives and timescales. CQC Registrations dovetails into our complementary client services.