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Would you pass your next CQC audit?

Maintaining a clean health or social care environment is essential to prevent and control infections, ensure patient and staff safety, and give confidence in the quality of service provided.

What is CQC Compliant Cleaning?

Every industry has a set of fundamental standards which must be met. For care providers, for example, one of these standards includes the level of cleanliness expected in care settings.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), a regulatory body in the United Kingdom, monitor, inspect and regulate services that provide health and social care to ensure they meet certain quality standards.

CQC Ratings

The CQC uses a rating system to evaluate care providers, ranging from ‘Outstanding’ (the highest rating) to ‘Good’, ‘Requires Improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’.

After an inspection, the CQC rates the overall quality of care using the Key lines of enquiry (KLOE) to assess whether a care home is providing the best quality of care.

The Key lines of enquiry (KLOE) are:

  • Is your service safe?   
  • Is your service effective?  
  • Is your service caring?   
  • Is your service responsive? 
  • Is your service well-led? 

‘Is your service safe’ relates to the following: 

  • Safeguarding and protection from abuse
  • Managing risks 
  • Suitable staff and staff cover 
  • Medicines management 
  • Infection control 
  • Learning when things go wrong 

Infection control applies to services responsible for premises, hygiene and cleanliness.

Care providers must meet the CQC cleaning standards when cleaning the premises. Keeping your premises clean, well-maintained, and suitable for treatment and care is essential to adhering to CQC policies and procedures.

To help care providers meet the necessary CQC cleaning standards, we have created guidelines to help you pass your next CQC audit.

Care providers must comply with the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Cleaning Standards (Regulations 12 and 15), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance and quality standards and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) cleaning guidance.

Making sure you’re going above and beyond

Q and A with Nigel Allen, former Care Home Manager at Sohal Healthcare

1. When it comes to CQC cleaning standards, do care providers have to comply with all of the below?

  • Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Cleaning Standards (Regulations 12 and 15) 
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance and quality standards  
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) cleaning guidance

Answer: Yes. When cleaning the premises where care or treatment is provided, the CQC advises care providers to follow the above guidelines and regulations. 

2. Will care providers know if the CQC inspectors are visiting their service and when?

Answer: It all depends on what kind of care provider you are. For more information on CQC inspections, please click here.

3. How many members of the inspection team will visit the site?

Answer: It all depends on how big the care provider is. For more information on the inspection team, please click here.

4. Can the CQC speak with service users/residents or staff?

Answer: Yes, the inspection team can gather information and views from staff and people who use services. They can also speak with professionals such as district nurses, GPs and the local authority, as well as family and friends of the service users.

5. What questions and prompts do inspectors use to determine how well staff and people living in care homes are protected by infection prevention and control?

Answer:  CQC uses the key line of enquiry S5.

6. Do CQC provide a ‘cleaning standards’ checklist to help care home managers maintain a clean social care environment?

Answer: Yes, please click here to view the checklist.

7. Effective infection prevention and control are essential to protect people from contracting COVID-19. What actions should care providers make sure they are taking to minimise the risk of cross-infection?

Answer: Please click here for a list of actions care providers should be taking to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Please note:

This information should be used as a guide only. Details are subject to change very soon. In order to ensure your guidance is up-to-date, check the CQC website regularly.

CQC is developing a new approach to how they regulate care providers. However, CQC will continue to monitor, assess and rate providers using its current methods until its new framework launches in 2023.

Need help with streamlining cleaning schedules?

Person Centred Software’s Maintenance and Asset Management tool aligns with CQC standards to help ensure you’re adhering to regulations.

You can now relax knowing that you can streamline cleaning schedules, set up routine cleaning for all areas of your care home(s), and set up recurring schedules whilst being advised on best practices.