Reporting adult social care provider low level quality concerns guidance

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What's in the guide

This guide serves as a resource for providers to effectively report care quality concerns to Surrey County Council's Quality Assurance Team (QAT). Our commitment is to monitor and address these concerns promptly and efficiently, with the overarching goal of preventing care quality issues from escalating into safeguarding concerns under Section 42 of the Care Act.

Quality concerns within care settings may indicate areas of poor practice or care quality issues. It's important to note that not all concerns necessarily constitute instances of abuse or neglect. The Safeguarding Adults Thresholds and Care Quality Concerns Guidance offers comprehensive examples of such concerns, aiding providers in identifying and appropriately addressing potential issues.

Key considerations

In the assessment and management of risks related to care quality concerns, it's imperative for providers to consider the unique circumstances surrounding each situation. Professional judgment should be exercised consistently to determine the most appropriate course of action.

While care quality concerns may have already been reported to other regulatory bodies such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or the integrated care board (ICB) Quality team, it remains essential for providers to also report these concerns to the QAT. This ensures comprehensive oversight and allows where necessary for a coordinated response to address the identified issues effectively.

Quality concerns notification process

Providers are required to promptly report care quality concerns to the QAT. This proactive reporting ensures that potential issues are recognised and addressed in a timely manner, preventing further deterioration in care standards. Utilising the provided care quality concern notification form streamlines the reporting process and ensures that all necessary information is included.

Report a provider quality concern

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Timely reporting is crucial, and provider managers are expected to notify the QAT within a reasonable timeframe of identifying any care quality concerns. This ensures that corrective actions can be taken promptly where appropriate to address the identified issues. By involving the QAT early on, providers can benefit from their expertise and support in implementing effective solutions to improve care quality where appropriate.

Quality Assurance team response

Upon receiving a care quality concern, the QAT ensures that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to capture and manage the reported concern effectively. This includes documenting the concern in their management system in alignment with the Care and Support Provider Risk Management Framework.

One of the key roles of the QAT is to monitor reported care quality concerns and identify any patterns or themes that may indicate systemic issues within care settings. By closely monitoring concerns, the QAT can intervene early to prevent further escalation and mitigate risks to service users.

The QAT will collaborate with the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) if it receives 3 or more quality concerns within a 12 month rolling period. Additionally, the QAT will collaborate with the MASH if it receives a quality concern that indicates an individual has needs for care and support, is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, and as a result of those needs is unable to protect themself against abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

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