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Be SMART when you plan

Let’s be realistic; the simple truth is that there is always the possibility that your practice won’t be 100% CQC compliant when the inspector visits. Each practice does tend to have an area of weakness, and, if you know you’re not so hot in a particular area, I recommend you put a mini action plan in place so the CQC can recognise it as an internal action to be reviewed.

Then, if when the CQC inspector visits they’re looking for something you don’t have, rather than saying, ‘I don’t have that’, you can say, ‘We know that we haven’t got that. However, we’ve put an action plan in place to improve xyz.’

The CQC is always looking for practices to have a SMART plan in place, because it demonstrates a proactive approach to compliance. You need to put together a full SMART action plan, it’s not enough to say ‘We’re going to do this’.

A SMART action plan is:

  • Specific – create an unambiguous, clear goal. A specific goal will state what is expected, why is it important, who is involved, where is it going to happen and which are the significant attributes
  • Measurable – criteria is needed against which to measure success, for example how many, how much, etc.
  • Attainable – the goal(s) need to be relevant and attainable. Don’t put something in there that you can’t achieve, because the CQC will come back to you on it
  • Relevant – make sure your goal is to the point. If you’ll pardon the silliness of this example, a goal to eat your five-a-day might be SMART but it’s not relevant to your practice
  • Time-bound – you need a realistic time frame and a target date.

Next time, I’ll be looking at how to make the CQC website work for you. Meanwhile, if we DBG can be of any help, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

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