New matron, Rachel Roberts is supporting colleagues in outpatients' services to be CQC ready

Rachel, left, and a group of outpatients colleagues at a recent awareness session

Rachel wanted to bring her OPD teams up to speed with the CQC inspection and what it means for them.


She said: “I was aware that a large number of outpatient services colleagues weren’t completely sure what the inspection is about, or that it related to them.  


“Around 1500 patients come through outpatients every day, so the CQC will definitely want to hear from them and our colleagues. We are the front of house for many people using our services, and often it’s a patient’s first touchpoint with CHFT....I’m extremely proud of the care and service we provide.


“I decided to run these initial sessions to encourage colleagues to think about their role as an individual but also as a team in preparation. I know the CQC will want to talk to colleagues to find out how things are in our service, and much of what they’ll be asking is just day-to-day practice.”


Rachel, who is proud of being the first dedicated Matron appointed for outpatients’ services at CHFT, explained that the inspectors will be our peers, with an understanding of how the outpatient environment works, and that they’ll talk to patients about the care and service they received.  


She was also keen to explain how the five domains could be interpreted within outpatients, for example:


Are our OPD services safe?

  • Do we see patients on time, in the right clinic, with the right clinician - as per our targets?
  • Is our area clean and tidy - would Infection Control be pleased with what they see?
  • The CQC will open doors and look in cupboards, so basically we need to be house proud

Are our OPD services caring?

  • Do we always introduce ourselves to patients using Hello my name is, and explain how we’re involved in their care?
  • Do we wear our ID badges at all times?
  • What behaviours are we demonstrating?

Are we effective at meeting patients’ needs in OPD?

  • Do we give the right treatment and tests at the right time for our patients?
  • Do you have the right skills to deliver the service you need to, and know to access specialist training?
  • Is our record keeping and audit trail accurate?
  • Are we using the right equipment and is all our machinery PAT tested and up-to-date?

Are we responsive to patients’ needs in OPD?

  • Are we keeping patients up-to-date with delays or changes with their appointments when they arrive at clinic?
  • Are we responding to what patients are telling us through Family and Friends feedback?
  • Do our services take account of the needs of different people including vulnerable groups?

And is our OPD service well-led?

  • Am I aware of the part I must play with our “FLO” audits? 
  • What do the four pillars mean to me in my OPD role?
  • Do we lead by example – such as our behaviours and how we talk and treat each other? 
  • Are we up-to-date with mandatory training and appraisals?


Rachel ended by telling CHFT Weekly about one of her outpatient colleagues who commented to her about November’s Big Brief, saying that she’d enjoyed listening to Owen and it felt like “we’re all in this together and it matters to everyone”.


Our CQC intranet page will be updated with information over the coming weeks, including further dates for preparation roadshows.


Colleagues can find it by typing cqc in the search field or clicking on the current campaigns section from the front page.