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Presenting your practice to the CQC

by in CQC, GP Practice Management

Last week, I wrote a blog explaining why it’s good practice to give a presentation to your team about how the CQC inspects practices, particularly as a lot has changed over the past few months, including the CQC’s regulatory approach. What hasn’t changed is the fact that you still have a 30-minute opportunity to shine, which really is a fantastic chance to showcase your practice. Don’t hold back! If you’re good at what you do (as a practice) then make sure you show that.

History has shown us that there have been some great orators in the world. Take Sir Winston Churchill, for example – he’s one of the greatest orators of the 20th century. Now, I’m not suggesting your speech should go like this: “We shall fight the CQC in the waiting room, we shall fight in the consulting rooms, we shall fight in the dispensary, and in the staff room, we shall fight in the reception; we shall never surrender to the CQC!” While this approach may make people laugh, I’m not sure how well it will go down with the CQC inspector! However, you need to deliver a good presentation. Remember, you’re showcasing your practice and to do that effectively, speakers must have rehearsed their parts and know the structure of the presentation. Sadly, there’s no room for ‘winging it’ when it comes to this particular presentation.

Your time is limited; you’ve got 30 minutes, which for those who are nervous about presenting may seem like a lifetime – but it will go very quickly. It’s a serious time, but let’s not forget that we’re all human so, when you’re introducing yourself and the team, try adding an icebreaker, such as: “Good morning, my name’s Mickey Dyer, I’m the practice manager. I’ve worked at the practice for eight years. A little-known fact about me is that I’m an apiarist.” If each member of the management team shares a little-known fact about themselves, it makes everyone feel more relaxed, particularly if they’re fun or intriguing facts. Why not try it?

Back to the presentation itself. This is definitely not the time for ‘death by PowerPoint’, nor is it the time for confusion, contradiction or contesting. It’s a time for clarity, compliments and celebrating the achievements of your practice. The CQC do offer a guide as to what a good presentation looks like, and the BMA offer some guidance too, but the bottom line is that there’s no rigid template for success (yet). This provides yet another opportunity to shine as it’s All About You – as McFly once sang. It’s also an opportunity to be open, honest and transparent. So, if there’s something that doesn’t work well, or you know you could do better at – diabetic foot checks, for example – make sure you state this during your presentation. There’s no point in trying to hide it; the CQC will find it out.

The presentation really is all about you (your practice), so what do I recommend? Well, start with the agenda, give a safety brief (resist the temptation to mimic an air stewardess), introduce those people who are presenting and then it’s all about the practice. Think ‘history’ – a brief synopsis of how it’s evolved since the last CQC inspection. Keep it brief; you’ve got a lot to say. Next, it’s about the list size, demographics and patient needs (don’t whinge about demanding patients just yet!). Mention the PPG, PCN and any specialisms you offer. Moving on to your team (think ‘brevity’ here), there really is no need to list each staff member, but use the opportunity to identify those with specialisms/skills or those you’re funding the development of; this is an opportunity to show well-led attributes.

Now we’ve reached the honesty point; it’s time to think ‘statistics’, QOF achievements, feedback, also state some of the issues you’re dealing with (e.g. the overuse of the urgent care/walk-in centres). Next, tell the inspecting team about the challenges; for example, ‘preparing for a CQC inspection, during a pandemic and during flu season’… be brave – or maybe don’t! Now you’re almost ready to say, “Hey, look at us; look at what we do well!”… not quite. Talk briefly about the previous CQC inspection and what areas were highlighted as being in need of improvement and then show/state what you’ve done to improve.

OK, you’re at the point where it’s time to shine. Are you ready? Think ‘examples of outstanding practice’. Surely, you’ve got some? If you’re thinking a CQC inspection is a dark day, remember it only takes a little bit of light to shine the way. So, how about doing so the KLOE way? For each KLOE, give examples of outstanding practice, examples where you’ve gone above and beyond what’s expected or just mention where you do something very well. Top tip: be sure to have the evidence to support what you’re saying readily available. Don’t bluff!

It’s now the final furlong; you can’t afford to fall or pull up short. Take this last opportunity to explain your aspirations and plans for the future. It’s also an apt opportunity to show your practice’s vision statement and values to the inspecting team, before subjecting yourself to questions from the floor.

Well done, you’ve nailed it! Only the inspection to go, and then it’s definitely wine o’clock! Cheers. What, you want more?! OK, I almost forgot (it’s an age thing): to help you prepare your presentation, We’ve produced a template – Presentation to CQC [PLUS] which can be adapted by practices… so maybe now there is a template for success? Let me know what you think. Good luck and stay safe.

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