CQC set to get involved in battle to vaccinate healthcare staff against Covid. Could better Quality Management be the answer to NHS governance woes?
The CQC is changing its inspection protocol from April this year- naturally it will now be far more Covid-centric. In fact, the CQC will now inspect GP practices on compliance with five different new points related to mandatory staff Covid vaccination from April.
Mandatory Covid vaccination of frontline staff, which will come into force from April 1st. This will be ‘monitored and enforced by CQC’, NHS England has said in it’s latest guidance.
The guidance, issued at the end of 2021, also included a check list for what steps GP practices should now take to prepare for the mandate to come into effect; as well as a ‘helpful guide’ for one-to-one conversations to encourage staff to have their Covid vaccination. Currently the number of unvaccinated staff members in the NHS eco system stands at roughly 1 in 10 and medical leaders believe tackling that final 10% is a key step in protecting the UK health service.
With regards to regulation, the document said GP practices will be expected to ‘keep a record of vaccinations as part of their staff employment or occupational health records’.
How can our QMS help?
GP practices will soon have no choice but to deploy document management systems that handle staff records. In fact, they will need to prove to CQC inspectors by April 2022 that:
- They have systems in place to ensure that they can comply with the requirements of the regulations and that they can monitor compliance.
- There is a record to confirm that satisfactory evidence has been provided. This record must be kept securely by the registered person in compliance with the UKGDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
- They have systems in place to review whether they need further evidence in relation to vaccination or exemption status of the people they employ or otherwise engage for the purposes of the provision of the regulated activity, carry out those reviews and secure such further evidence.
- There is appropriate information and access to advice/guidance about vaccines and the requirements of the regulations available to all workers, and that individuals receive support in connection with the vaccine.
- Workers are provided with the appropriate support to access vaccination.
Unvaccinated staff must get their first Covid jab by 3 February 2022 so they can receive their second dose by the 31 March 2022 deadline, NHS England’s guidance said.
GP practices should now begin to prepare by determining which roles in their practice are likely to fall under the new regulations. — This process should be carried out on a platform like our Quality Management System which can automatically ensure your practice is adhering to these new requirements.
Why should GP’s be automating these tedious processes?
It is essential that GP’s have more time to focus on addressing patient waiting lists. BBC Panorama shared data on waiting lists, from April 2020 to July 2021. They show that the waiting lists have grown by 50% in the most deprived parts of England since the pandemic began, affluent areas aren’t much better with a 35% rise. Better automation is key to getting these lists under control and to addressing the knock on effect of the pandemic on other life threatening illness.
NHS bosses have stated that the use of cloud services will be critical in the coming years. GP’s should welcome anything that can help to alleviate some of the burden that the NHS is facing, particularly when it comes to delivering the life-saving and life-changing treatment people will need.
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