“Surgery without audit is like playing cricket without keeping the score.”
Firstly I should apologise for misappropriating Hugh Brendan Devlin’s quote but the purpose of the Care Quality Comission (CQC) audit scheme is to establish a national standard for health care providers and should reassure patients as well as those working in the industry. The truth is however that for most practice managers the CQC audit looms like a shark fin on the horizon.
A brief look at the CQC website shows that so far this month out of almost 1600 inspections 58 were found to be inadequate whilst another 242 required improvement.
With regards to health and safety four of the most common concerns highlighted were: a failure to carry out risk assessments, including health and safety, COSHH, Legionella and Fire; not implementing appropriate control measures; a lack of audits and having no processes to communicate the lessons learnt from incidents.
At THSP Risk Management our business is to assist customers with meeting the legal, moral and financial imperatives for implementing sound health and safety management protocols. With our Practice Safe service we set out a framework upon which to build and record the procedures needed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees and those persons using GP surgeries and clinics.
One of our Health and Safety Consultants will visit our customer’s premises and working with them prepare those policies and procedures relevant to their practice as well as provide them with advice and an action plan of steps they will need to implement to satisfy the health and safety elements of their next CQC inspection.
As part of the service we also carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises, the results of which are available online and will enable them to keep a record of their own checks and inspections.
Whilst our customers have access to a telephone helpline and a wealth of information available on our website throughout the year we also maintain regular communication via a dedicated Account Executive and Consultant, so that the documentation supporting the safety management system can be kept up to date and reflect their arrangements.
By engaging us as your consultants with Practice Safe, you can be safe in the knowledge that your legal obligations are being looked after – leaving you able to do what you need to do, implementing best practice and looking after others!
So, if you can see shadows on the horizon and are looking for a life raft visit the THSP website at www.thsp.co.uk or call 03456 122 144. Alternatively we will be at the Health and Care Expo on 29th to 30th June at Excel, if you are visiting we look forward to meeting you, our stand is Q48.
To find out more about our new Practice Safe service click here.
By Chris Ivey, Health and Safety Consultant Director at THSP Risk Management