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How to prepare for an emergency support framework call

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Preparing for an Emergency Support Framework call from your inspector

How to Prepare for an Emergency Support Framework Call from Your Inspector

I have been working in senior positions in the care industry since 2002.

Until 2014 I ran large psychiatric services and successfully dealt with many crisis management and turnaround situations. Towards the end of 2014 I established Care Ideals, which is a consultancy service that supports a variety of social care providers.

I have written this article to provide practical and helpful information to social care businesses and managers, especially those with little backoffice support or those with limited experience of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the CQC has for the most part paused its on-site inspection agenda. For now, this has been replaced by the Emergency Support Framework (ESF). The ESF is a phone call with your inspector, where they ask you up to 15 key questions about your service. These key questions can be followed by supplementary questions, and the call can last up to two hours.

You’ll be contacted to arrange a convenient time for the actual ESF conversation. You will have time to prepare for the call. The CQC has said:

However, providers must remember:

I don’t think providers need to be concerned about the call. But you must prepare for it.

To help with your preparation, I have listed below questions you might be asked during your ESF call. I have compiled these questions according to issues you’ve likely had to deal with in recent months.

I would suggest that you have someone with you during the call taking notes. Email the inspector after the call detailing your understanding of the call and list any actions.

I would also recommend that providers put together a hardcopy file that evidences how you responded to issues created by the pandemic e.g. updated policies and procedures, invoices from PPE suppliers, letters to staff communicating about coronavirus, etc.

At some point, CQC will likely return to on-site inspections. You can hand this file to the inspectors when they arrive.

Please note the above list is a guide only and isn’t exhaustive. You must adapt the list according to your individual services e.g. some of the above won’t be relevant for domiciliary care providers.

Don’t worry about the ESF. Prepare for it.

(This article was first published in Caring UK in 2020)

Care Ideals Podcasts

CQC Consultation - The Verdict. Special Podcast from Care Home Management

June 16, 2021

How to prepare for the CQC’s Emergency Support Framework - Care Home Management COVID-19 podcast

May 25, 2020