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'Nursing students need more training on CQC compliance'

Independent consultant Jane Orr-Campbell said nursing students need more help to understand their role in CQC monitoring and inspections

Pre-registration nurse education and on-the-job training should place a greater emphasis on nurses’ roles in Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections, an expert trainer will tell a conference this week.

Jane Orr-Campbell, an independent homecare consultant with 20 years’ experience in front line nursing, will stress that nurses are ‘absolutely crucial’ in the regulatory process.

The CQC monitors and inspects health and social care services in England to ensure they meet fundamental standards and its inspectors speak to nurses, observe care and review records.  

Nursing students not taught CQC compliance

But Ms Orr-Campbell, who trains healthcare providers on CQC compliance, told Nursing Standard she believes the pre-registration nursing degree does not cover the CQC process ‘in any kind of depth and it certainly does not relate it to nursing practice’.

One third-year nursing student commented that she was aware of the CQC but did not understand she would have a role in ensuring its standards are met.

Ms Orr-Campbell said that once nurses have qualified, their employers do not provide assistance on the subject, particularly when there are changes to CQC regulations.

However, nurses play an important role by providing evidence of good care to inspectors and by ensuring proper record-keeping, she added.

Keep evidence of good practice

‘If you have got something which you think the inspector should see, ensure you put it in front of them.’

Ms Orr-Campbell suggested organisations keep evidence of good practice, such as cuttings of positive news stories about care from a local newspaper, to show to inspectors.  

The CQC provides handbooks for each care setting explaining the regulatory process and setting out their key lines of enquiry.

An NMC spokesperson said new standards of competence were being prepared for nurses at the point of entry to the register.

'[The standards] will therefore include a focus not only on aspects of practice that relate to nursing care, but also on those higher level aspects that relate to leadership, health policy, regulation and understanding the broader context within which nursing care happens.' 

Ms Orr-Campbell is due to speak on CQC compliance at a conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in London on September 29.

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