Ed Watkinson, Regulation Manager at Barchester Healthcare, was seconded to CQC in January 2014 – November 2014 to provide advice, support and input into the development of the new way of inspecting social care services.
Ed was the first person to be seconded to CQC from an independent care provider and worked there as a Consultant Advisor in the Policy Team. The role was wide-ranging and Watkinson worked with many different experts and teams within CQC.
Ed said: “Every aspect of my role at CQC was extremely useful and broadened my knowledge. I led on developments and so improved my understanding of the dynamics at CQC and the number of different criteria that needed to be met in order to make a policy, tool or methodology a success.”
He said: “Near the end of the secondment period I put all my knowledge, learning and experience together and was instrumental in developing the training materials for inspectors in the new inspection methodology and presented to over 500 inspectors across the country about the new methodology.”
Just over six months on from the end of the secondment, Barchester Healthcare has felt the benefits of this exchange of knowledge and experience.
Ed said: “The learning I gained has been shared throughout Barchester’s Regulation Team so the whole team are now even better equipped to provide up-to-date and accurate advice to the rest of the organisation. We are more aware of the new way of inspecting and have been able to inform senior managers of the implications of the changes.
“I have developed a book with guidance and information for staff working at Barchester’s care homes to help them prepare for the new inspections. It looks at the five key questions asked during inspection and offers advice on what evidence could be presented to demonstrate that the service is ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in each area. Every home has copies of the book, which is designed to be useful for all home-based staff.”
In addition to the learning gained, the secondment enabled Ed to influence decisions and ensure that the developments suggested by CQC were reasonable, practicable and would not be overly burdensome on providers.
Six months on, Barchester’s regulation team still have some involvement in further developments at CQC. Ed said: “We continue to work together. Representatives from Barchester are invited to join consultations, workshops and to be part of developments.”