At a time where changing regulations and funding cuts can drive further pressures within your organisation, you may be left wondering what does it actually take to impress the CQC as an adult social care service. Wonder no more as we have summarised the top tips you can learn from nine other adult social care services who have achieved a significant improvement on their rating.
CQC spoke to a range of people at each of the nine services to highlight what they describe as ‘clear actions that other providers can use to help them learn and improve’. So let’s dive in to the findings.

What classifies as a ‘significant improvement’?

In this case, it is a service that has improved from a rating of inadequate or equivalent to a rating of good.

What were the key themes that came to light?

The key themes shared in the reports across these nine organisations were as follows:


Stability of leadership was noted as a key factor in driving improvements. With Potteries Care Home experiencing several different managers covering for a home manager on long-term sick leave, they potentially lacked focus and a common goal. However, the appointment of a new permanent manager brought back that much needed clarity.

Cultural change

It is vital that not only the staff, but also the residents and relatives feel like they have a voice when it comes to the care you provide. New Deanery Care Home suffered from poor management previously that was described as ‘very controlling, very top down’. A change in culture is exactly what the doctor subscribed in this case and one of the senior carers now says ‘being encouraged to talk about things was a big change. Now, if we make a mistake we are more than happy to speak up, knowing we won’t be blamed or persecuted for it’. Look after your staff and they will look after you (and your service users!).

Person-centred care

Every individual is different so why should their care plan be the same? That is exactly what must have gone through the head of a new manager at Leiston Old Abbey Residential Home when she asked to see a care plan. But she soon found that the care plan wasn’t particularly personalised and hence made it a priority to improve plans to provide a real insight into individual’s lives and hobbies. CQC are a firm believer in that plans need to be produced with those using the service and their families.

Working with partners

Two heads are better than one and it’s no different in an adult social care organisation. Harness the relationships you have with your partners and the likes of your Provider Support Advisor at the council and it will pay dividends. The manager of Leiston Old Abbey did exactly that to produce action and support plans which contributed to their significant improvement.

Building a community

Is your community a fan of your services or do they feel you could work closer with them? There is a lot of potential in your local community, not only for raising awareness of the good work you do within the home but also for your residents to participate in wider community initiatives and have a further sense of belonging. You could encourage interaction between the residents and the community by joining in with local activities or consider something similar to what the Lawn Care Home do. They invite a mothers and toddlers group in to the home on a weekly basis and have received great feedback on this.


The strongest key theme to come out of this publication was staffing with CQC stating that staffing issues contributed to the low rating in most of the providers featured. Not having enough staff and putting a high amount of pressure on existing staff seemed to be a reoccuring theme amongst those poorly rated by the CQC. Permanent staff members who can provide stability and a familiar face to residents are highly valued and tightening recruitment processes and improving training was recommended.

With leadership and staffing being two of the six key themes flagged up by the CQC, we’re keen to ensure that our recruitment solutions for adult social care organisations tick the right boxes. Whilst we are more than happy to assist with any emergency and short-term staffing requirements, we also have a vast database of social care candidates nationwide. Furthermore, we offer training to all our candidates to ensure their skills are up to scratch and to help them provide the best level of care possible in your service. 

If you currently have or anticipate a vacancy within your organisation, share the details and we will come back to you with the most suitable CVs.