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Our Care Quality Commission Ratings Explained

Following on from our most recent inspection and report, the team at Quality Life UK is thrilled to announce that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has, again, rated our services as ‘GOOD’ overall with a rating of ‘OUTSTANDING’ in the ‘Responsive’ category!

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We are particularly proud of these results because all care providers receive an overall CQC rating in addition to individual category ratings. Being awarded an overall rating of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ in a category is such an amazing achievement. Having been placed towards the top end of the grading, we believe that this is a true testament to the care services we provide our clients. Our team of dedicated and passionate carers is at the heart of everything we do and we are extremely grateful and proud of all of their hard work and dedication.

Whilst every care agency carries a CQC rating, we are conscious that not everyone always understands what the ratings mean. In this blog post, you will find out more about what the CQC is, what their role is within the industry, what an inspection involves, and what the categories mean for you and us.

What Is The Care Quality Commission?

The Care Quality Commission is an independent regulator of health and adult social care in England and is responsible for ensuring that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, and high-quality care. The commission is there to guide not only care providers, such as Quality Life UK, but also other services, such as care homes, ambulances, hospitals, dentists, GPs, clinics, and hospices. 

They monitor, inspect, and regulate all of these services to make sure that they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. The inspection covers five core categories, including safety, effectiveness, care, responsiveness, and leadership. The results of the inspection are then published as a report, which includes the performance ratings that help people choose care.

What Is The Role Of The Care Quality Commission?

The Care Quality Commission put simply, is there to make sure people are receiving the care they need and deserve. Many people require different levels and types of care, such as live-in care, night care, respite care, and rehabilitation care, which cover and meet all needs and aspects of someone’s care, all to an exceptional and compassionate standard.

The Care Quality Commission ensures that care providers meet and adhere to a set of fundamental standards, which their services must never fall short on and that everyone has the right to expect:

  • Person-centred care: your care and treatment is tailored to you and must meet your personal needs and preferences
  • Dignity and respect: you must be treated with dignity and respect at all times, which also includes equality, privacy, and independence
  • Consent: you must be given the opportunity to give consent before any care or treatment is given to you
  • Safety: you must not be put at risk under any circumstances and staff must have the required qualifications, competence, skills and experience to keep you safe
  • Safeguarding from abuse: you must never suffer any form of abuse, including but not limited to neglect, degradation, restraint or control
  • Food and drink: you must have enough to eat and drink to keep you in good health
  • Premises and equipment: the environment must be kept clean, suitable and looked after and any equipment must be safe, secure and used properly
  • Complaints: providers must have a system and process in place that allows you to complain, which must then be seriously investigated 
  • Staffing: there must be enough suitably qualified and experienced staff to carry out your care and there needs to be a rigorous recruitment process
  • Duty of candour: providers must be open and transparent with you about your care and treatment
  • Good governance: providers must have processes and systems in place to ensure they meet all of these CQC standards
  • Display of rating: providers must display their CQC rating somewhere where you can see it, such as their website


Quality Life UK takes these Care Quality Commission standards very seriously and we can assure you that we meet all of them.

What Does A Care Quality Commission Inspection Involve?

Visiting care providers is a vital part of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection process and it gives them an opportunity to talk to staff and the people who use the services. The CQC also carries out site visits, allowing them to observe the given care and to look at records to see how care needs are managed. 

These inspections are comprehensive processes and require the CQC to:

  • Meet our staff so we can tell them about the care we offer and how we operate
  • Privately meet our clients so they can tell them their thoughts about our services
  • Observe our staff delivering care, including how they interact with our clients and what level of care they are giving 
  • Audit and inspect our care pathways, ensuring notes are made on ways we can improve our services and the level of care we give
  • Receive a full review of records relating to everything from invoicing to notices on levels of care
  • Independently review and audit any documents and policies
  • Conduct a full inspection of the places where our care is offered 


At the end of the visit, the CQC will then provide and highlight feedback, a summary of what was found during the visit, any issues and actions that need to be taken, any plans for further visits and finally, a published report.

What Are The Five Categories The CQC Report On? 

There are five core questions that the Care Quality Commission always asks of all the care services they inspect and are the heart of the way they regulate the things that matter the most to those who are in need of care. They are: 

Are we safe? (Our rating – good)

Our clients and staff are protected from all types and levels of abuse and avoidable harm

Are we effective? (Our rating – good)

Our care and support achieves good outcomes, helps our clients maintain their quality of life and is based on best available evidence

Are we caring? (Our rating – good)

Our staff treat clients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect at all times

Are we responsive to people’s needs? (Our rating – outstanding)

Our services are organised so that they meet your needs quickly and to the best standard

Are we well-led? (Our rating – good)

Our leadership, management, and governance ensure high-quality care that’s based on individual needs and that we encourage innovation, learning, and an open and fair culture 

Each of these questions is then broken down into further questions. When the CQC carries out an inspection, they will use these to help them decide what they need to focus on. These questions help them to remain consistent in what they inspect within each area and ensure that they focus on the aspects that matter most.

Our 2020 CQC Report

Our most recent Care Quality Commission report was published on 19th May 2020 and was rated ‘GOOD’ overall with a rating of ‘OUTSTANDING’ in the ‘Responsive’ category, which we’re absolutely delighted with.

In summary, the report stated that our service is exceptionally person-centred when meeting our clients’ needs and they and their loved ones feel extremely positive about the services we provide. 

The live-in care service we offer is caring and the recruitment of our staff is tailored to meet people’s individual needs, with the selection process being safe and thorough throughout. People are safeguarded from the risk of abuse and receive safe care and treatment. Medicines are managed in the right way and any infection is prevented and controlled with clients being helped to quickly receive medical attention when necessary.

The report also states that our clients are supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and that our staff, policies, and systems assist them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests. Our clients are also treated with kindness and compassion with their privacy and confidential information being respected at all times.

Clients had also been consulted about their care and it was found that any information is given in a user-friendly way and they are sufficiently supported to avoid the risk of social isolation. Finally, effective arrangements are also in place to resolve complaints, quality checks are consistently completed and good teamwork and joint working are always encouraged and promoted.

Here’s What A Few People Say About Us

We are blown away by the feedback that some of our clients and their families have given us and this just cements why we do what we do:

“My mum receives excellent care and attention, respect, and love from all the staff. We couldn’t have asked for anything better and would highly recommend Quality Life UK.”

“The support provided by Quality Life UK was incredible. Knowing that mum was in such capable and caring hands was immensely reassuring and meant that I could spend more time at home with my own family.”

“The care provided by Quality Life UK enabled my mum to get the very most out of her last years and ultimately to die with dignity, at home and with her husband and family by her side. I will always be grateful to Quality Life UK for this.”

How Can Quality Life UK Help You?

We hope this blog answers any queries you may have about the Care Quality Commission and what our ratings mean to us, our clients, and their families.

If you would like more information on this topic or any of our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 01509 76 78 79 or emailing us at [email protected].