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Health and Social Care Students Turn Inspectors on Rare Visit from CQC Staff

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Students at the University of Worcester were given the rare chance to quiz inspectors from a healthcare watchdog.

Inspection Managers from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) spoke to the University of Worcester’s Health and Social Care, Dementia Studies and Mental Health Foundation Degree students about what the organisation does.

Lucy Bland and Mandy Walker, who lead inspection teams for the CQC in Adult Social Care in the West Midlands, then asked students to rate real-life cases from the CQC’s own reports.

On their visit, they explained the legislation under which the CQC operates, which services it regulates, what key areas it looks at and how the inspection aims have changed.

They also answered questions from students on topics including whistleblowing, how much notice providers get before an inspection, how inspectors ensure they get a true picture and the consequences for a failing provider.

Then it was the students’ turn to look at samples of real CQC inspection reports and judge what aspect of care it assessed and what rating it was given.

Students may now also be able to put what they have learnt into practice, with an offer made of work experience shadowing a CQC inspector.

Ms Bland said: “This is first time that the University and CQC have worked collaboratively to provide students with a real understanding of the role of the regulation in the health and social care sector in England.

“As the regulator it is important that we are also involved in shaping the future education of health and social care staff.

“We were able to give them some real life examples of how our work encourages improvement but also puts the spotlight on providers who are failing to keep people safe.

“I really enjoyed spending the time speaking with the students and look forward to more collaborative working with the lecturers and University in the future”.

Lisa Porter, Senior Lecturer in Allied Health and Applied Social Sciences, said: “The session led by CQC Inspection Managers was a fantastic opportunity for our students.

“It was interesting, lively and highly relevant to the students, who are all on placement in health and social care settings.

“Learning about the CQC and their inspection processes will be invaluable as students develop their future careers within health and social care and become responsible for delivering and managing services that are safe, effective, caring and well led.”

Courtney Lord, 20, of Worcester, a Health and Social Care first year student, said: “They answered all the questions in detail. A lot of us think that the CQC just deals with certain people so they opened our minds. It gives us insight into how we can improve.”

Fellow first year student Hannah Alford, 40, from Worcester, said: “It was really informative and it gives you a different point of view.”