The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the regulatory body that ensures that care homes provide safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led health and social care services in England. CQC regulates activities and assigns a rating to different care homes and facilities.

For most care facilities, CQC is a formidable foe. Failing the inspection often leads to litigation and costly fines.

For us at Midlands Care, we choose to see CQC approvals and inspections as a stamp of approval to our residents. That is why CQC inspection is not only essential to us but also for our residents and our business.

This is because CQC’s checklist is aimed at challenging us to provide quality care to our residents. Here are some of the critical areas of a CQC inspection checklist.

Key Lines of Enquiry

CQC uses a series of questions known as Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE). There are questions that feed into the key lines, and CQC inspectors use them to assess all providers.

Each of the KLOEs covers a section of care services and homes that are vital to service provision and the experience of residents. These sections include:


In this section, the CQC aims to assess the systems, processes, and practices to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse. As proof of your safety protocol, you need:

  • A comprehensive safeguarding policy which includes how the facility applies the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Standards and how the preventative strategy is applied.
  • Minutes detailing meetings of adult and child safeguarding meetings and points of discussion.
  • Posters of local contact details in clinical rooms with safeguarding contacts.
  • Infection control reports and action plans
  • Health and safety and fire risk assessments
  • Proof of a safe staffing level
  • Evidence that all the staff understand and consent to the policy
  • Equipment maintenance logs and PAT testing

These and other areas are the areas of concern that CQC inspectors focus on to ensure a facility is safe for the residents.


It’s not enough that a facility is safe. The services offered have to be effective, and the needs of the residents in terms of care and treatment should be delivered in line with the legislation.

  • The CQC will need proof that you review and discuss clinical guidance to ensure proper operation in accordance with the latest best policy.
  • A safety netting and guideline on how patients can seek help if they feel worse
  • Peer reviews and documentation of regular management meetings.
  • Evidence of performance reviews of the practice
  • Demonstrate that you understand the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Standards.
  • HR folders with proper documentation.


While providing service, a carer should treat the patients and residents with kindness, respect and compassion. When necessary, it’s important to offer emotional support. The CQC also assesses this in several ways:

  • They can use the friends and family test or positive feedback from the patient
  • Request for evidence that the practise meets the fundamental standards of care
  • Ask for examples of how the practice cares for dementia patients and other special needs patients.
  • Examples of shared decision making
  • Carers register and evidence that is up to date
  • Adjustments for disabled residents
  • Proof of privacy, dignity and chaperone training.


Is the care provided to the residents personalised and responsive to their needs? To pass the CQC inspection for this aspect, you need to:

  • Provide evidence that the facility understands its population.
  • Evidence of how flexible the practice is in service provision
  • Proof of how you respond to home visits
  • Risk assessment and premises appraisal
  • How appointment systems work and the rationale for the number of routine and urgent appointments
  • Minutes of meetings where complaints are discussed


For a facility to offer safe, effective and caring services, it needs a capable leader with the ability to deliver high quality and sustainable care. In this case, the practice is required to:

  • Explain the organisational structure, show proof of good teamwork and leadership development.
  • Show evidence of succession planning
  • Evidence that staff are supported and valued
  • Evidence that staff understand the mission statement and vision of the practice.

These are the five key areas that a CQC inspection focuses on. The areas under each of the areas vary. Having been in the residential care business for over 40 years, we have been subjected to numerous CQC inspections. We have passed every time, which shows our dedication to our residents and continuously improves our quality of services to deliver nothing short of an outstanding stay for each one of our residents.