HCPA Members Zone

Regulation & Inspections – new

Accessible Information Standard

Making health and social care information accessible

From 1st August 2016 onwards, all organisations that provide NHS care and / or publicly-funded adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard. The Standard sets out a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, citizens and individuals, carers and parents with a disability, impairment or sensory loss.

The Accessible Information Standard (DCB1605 Accessible Information)

The Accessible Information Standard, formally known as DCB1605 Accessible Information, is made up of a Specification and Implementation Guidance.

In August 2017, revised versions of the Specification and Implementation Guidance were issued, following a post-implementation review of the Standard:

Click here for further details

CQC Guidance Meeting the Accessible Information Standards Click here

Central Alerting System (CAS) alerts in Care Homes

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued guidance about compliance with the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Their registration system focuses on services meeting essential standards of quality and safety. This system is focused on outcomes, including the views and experiences of people who use the service. The implementation of CAS alerts is vital to ensure that care home resident’s safety is maintained to national standards.

» View the advice for Care Homes regarding signing up for CAS Alerts for Care Homes

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Providers of services for people with learning disabilities really need to be aware of and working to ‘Registering the right support’. Are you aware of the changes to the KLOE and additional KLOES?
» These FAQs have been recently uploaded to the CQC website re: Reg 19
» FAQ’s on medicines

Is your CQC registration information up to date?

It is a providers’ responsibility to ensure their registration information held with CQC is correct. This information is used to calculate fees, so it’s important that it’s right. CQC would encourage you to check your entry on the register.

If you need to make changes, you can find more information on CQC’s website, or speak to your relationship owner.

Learning from safety incidents

When something goes wrong in health and social care, the people affected and staff often say, “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

These ‘Learning from safety incidents’ resources are designed to do just that. Each one briefly describes a critical issue – what happened, what CQC and the provider have done about it, and the steps you can take to avoid it happening in your service.

» Read the guidance here

CQC: Information Governance Policies

Having timely access to information and using valid, robust, and relevant data securely underpins both the provision of good quality care and the efficiency and effectiveness of all organisations involved in the health and social care system in England. This policy statement sets out how CQC carries out its regulatory role with regard to the secure use of information by health and adult social care providers, and how we securely handle data ourselves in line with expected standards.

» View the CQC Policy Statement here
» Further information and guidance

An update on CQC’s regulatory approach

CQC have published an update on the way they regulate during the pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic CQC paused routine inspections and focused their activity only in response to risk. This was the right thing to do and CQC have kept this decision under review.

As we are now entering a period of increased pressure on health and social care service, CQC want to be clear that for the time being they will continue to only undertake inspection activity in response to a serious risk of harm or where it supports the system’s response to the pandemic.

CQC will continue to act to keep people safe from harm, protecting their human rights while supporting providers to focus on delivering care, including the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

 CQC: How to get the most out of inspection

There are key themes which run through each stage of an inspection for providers, inspectors and for both parties. Communication and consistency are vital to an inspection running smoothly and being valuable to all parties. This document will help you to understand what a good inspection should look and feel like.

» View the CQC How to get the most out of inspection document here

Sending a notification 

The CQC are finding a big variance in the quality of information given in notifications.  Consequently, due to the limited details, inspectors are having to go back to providers and request further details which is insufficient use of time for both inspectors and providers. 

When sending a notification please ensure you provide as much information as possible and are using either the portal or the up-to-date notification forms (can be found of the CQC website). If you have saved old versions these will not be up to date and cannot be used.

The new forms prompt the details required; an example can be seen below:

Other relevant information

N.B: Refer to any people using unique identifiers or codes; do not provide names.

Please provide complete details of the incident and ensure you consider and include:

-Was the person known to be at risk of this type of incident/injury?
-What was in place to mitigate the risk i.e.

  • equipment to minimise the risk of a fall injury
  • input from a specialist falls team
  • tissue viability input
  • staff observations

-What immediate steps have you taken to mitigate further risks to the person and/or others?

By having this detail set out succinctly and clearly it gives CQC the context and enables them to assess whether there are ongoing risks or whether the situation is being well managed.

» Click here to find the latest notification forms

CQC Fees scheme

The CQC fees scheme, which covers all costs of regulation, including registration, monitoring and inspection will not change next year – in 2022/23.

This means that, for many providers, your fees will have remained the same for the last three years, unless you have changed your registration e.g., adding locations or service types.

Since there is no change to CQC’s fees scheme, CQC will not be consulting on fees this year.

You can find out more about CQC’s fees scheme, how to pay fees, an update on non-payment of fees, and the fees calculator by clicking here.

Fire Safety

Fire Kills but you can prevent it.

Please see below information for HCPA Fire Safety study days and useful resources for both residential and homecare settings.

Fire Safety for Residential and Supported Living Providers

The HCPA Fire Safety study day focused on Fire Safety for Residential and Supported Living Providers. 

This fully-funded study day covered important management responsibilities, policies and obligations to ensure compliance with all legislation relating to fire safety. The study day also covered the following:

  • The outlines of fire safety legislation and requirements of care providers
  • Fire Risk Assessments
  • The roles of “competent persons” – carrying out due diligence
  • Tools and resources to help you understand your legal responsibilities
  • Evacuation strategies

Upcoming Fire Safety Study days for Residential Providers

All Residential study days will take place at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Blackstone Auditorium, Hitchin Road, Stevenage, SG1 4AE, Hertfordshire

Click here to see our upcoming fire safety study days

CQC- It is important that all staff are aware of evacuation procedures in your organisation as there are several services where this has not been the case. Also, check that PEEPs are in place and up to date and that the fire risk assessment is completed by someone competent to do so.

Useful resources for Residential and Supported Living Providers

Fire Safety Presentation Workshop 3 (Feb 2023) Click here
Fire Safety Workplace learning session 3 (Feb 2023) Click here
Fire Safety Presentation Workshop 2 (Published 2022) Click here
Fire Safety WorkplaceLearning Session 2 (Published 2022) Click here
Fire Safety Presentation Workshop 1 (Published 2019) Click here
Fire Safety Workplace learning session Click here
Fire Safety Checklist (Residential) Click here
Activity sheets for work time learning Click here
Fire Safety Risk Assessment – a guide to choosing a competent fire risk assessor Click here
Fire Safety briefing for practitioners Click here
PEEPS Plan and Template Click here
On Demand webinar – Fire deaths: Learning from Safeguarding adults reviews Click here
NHS Easy Read newsletter about lung cancer, smoking, healthy eating and the NHS app Click here


Fire Safety for Supported Living and Homecare

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) is calling all Hertfordshire Residents to improve safety in their homes

More than three quarters of fire related deaths happen in the home. You can make sure that your home or a person that you support’s home is safe by arranging a Safe & Well visit from the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Safe & Well visits are carried out by uniformed officers free of charge. You will receive advice on making your home safe and on staying well.


Upcoming Fire Safety Study days for Supported Living and Homecare Providers

All Supported Living and Homecare study days will take place at HCPA, Mundells Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 1FT

Click here to see our upcoming fire safety study days

Useful resources for Homecare 

Fire Safety Session – Home Care – Presentation slides Click here
Fire Safety Session – Home Care – Workplace learning slides Click here
Workplace learning activity sheets Managers Copy (with answers) Click here
Workplace learning activity answer sheets for staff (Blank) Click here
Hoarding Matrix (Clutter image ratings) Click here
Fire deaths in Hertfordshire Click here
Create a bespoke Fire Safety Action Plan Click here
Home Fire Safety Guide for Professionals Click here
Dangers of smoking with oxygen leaflet Click here
Candles information sheet Click here
Chimney fires information sheet Click here
Cooking information sheet Click here
Electrical safety information sheet Click here
Fire prevention article Click here
Fire safety briefing for practitioners Click here
Gas information sheet Click here
Heaters information sheet Click here
Miscellaneous hoarding information sheet Click here
Safe and Well information booklet Click here
Social media templates Click here

» Easy to follow guide from the Surrey fire service

Hertfordshire County Council & PAMMS, Regulation & Inspection

New NFCC mobility scooter guidance now been published

New guidance from the National Fire Chiefs Council has now been published ‘mobility scooter guidance for residential buildings’.

NFCC is pleased to release this for residential buildings, which outlines considerations for responsible persons of residential buildings to help establish the safe use, storage and charging of mobility scooters. It also supplements the information in NFCC’s Specialised Housing guide.

This has been an excellent example of sector-led guidance, to ensure all those affected are involved in the production of this guide.

Read more…

Hertfordshire’s Market Position Statement is now live

Hertfordshire’s Market Position Statement has recently gone live and aims to be used as a helpful resource for all social care providers. Hertfordshire County Council takes the lead for the delivery and commissioning of adult social care right across the county of Hertfordshire, and they work with numerous partners in the NHS and in children’s services to ensure their support is coordinated.

» Click here to view the market position statements

Workforce Strategy 2018-21

Our workforce is our greatest asset; having the appropriate numbers of staff who are highly skilled, confident and compassionate and care about the people they support is what ensures the services we deliver are of high quality and person centred.

In Hertfordshire, we are proud of our social care workforce and recognise the importance of valuing our care workforce, supporting them with excellent training and development, different career options and progression routes, and so enabling them to thrive in their roles and be proud of the work they do.

» Click here to view the full Workforce Strategy


» PAMMS Presentation For Providers
» PAMMS Providers Guide
» PAMMS Assessment Questions and Evidence List
» PAMMS creating and managing an action plan video

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Quality improvement resource for adult social care

Aimed at commissioners, it brings together NICE quality standards and guidelines in an easy to use format, mapped against Care Quality Commission key lines of enquiry. It may also be useful to provider organisations and people who fund their own care.

It can help you to:

  • Find quality statements (from our quality standards)
  • Look at recommendations (from our managing medicines guidelines)
  • Start conversations with provider colleagues to agree ways to improve quality of care in your area
  • Agree ways to measure quality improvements

Quality improvement resource for adult social care

Quality improvement resource from Skills for Care

To complement Care Improvement Works, NICE have introduced a new quality improvement resource to help shape high quality adult social care services and improve the well-being of adults accessing those services.

Content is mapped against the CQC key lines of enquiry and pulls together relevant NICE quality statements. It’s been produced for local authority commissioners but could also be useful for provider organisations and those who fund their own care. It can be downloaded and adapted for local use to create quality dashboards or self-assessment tools.

NICE Quick Guides

A quick, easy way to access key information from NICE on social care topics.

Skills For Care

Adult Social Care – Quality Matters

The quality of adult social care matters. It matters because people who use services should be able to expect person-centred care that is safe, effective, caring and responsive. This care should be supported by good leadership and sustained by good use of resources.

This document sets out a shared commitment to high-quality, person-centred adult social care. It has been produced to make a difference in care services by working across the sector with people who use these services and their carers.

» Adult Social Care – Quality Matters

Keep up to date with the latest news from Skills for Care

Care Improvement Works

Skills for Care updated Care Improvement Works, the free online resource to help regulated providers easily access products and services relating to Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection – brought to you by Skills for Care, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The update reflects new areas of CQC inspection that are being introduced from November 2017.

With CQC inspection looking more at how services learn from mistakes, utilise systems and processes, keep people safe, have effective information systems and apply good governance, Care Improvement Works can point you to the practical tools available. See the updated version.

Tender Opportunities

New Tender Opportunities listing

HCPA are aware that there are new tendering opportunities becoming available for various client groups within the adult social care sector from HCC.

To support our members we thought it would be a good idea to put a list of all of the open tenders that we are aware of on our Members Zone with a link to the relevant web portal so that you can apply.

We are also aware of other local authorities in neighbouring areas advertising opportunities that may be of interest so will post these as well on the web page with application details.

These are tenders that HCPA are aware of that may be of interest to members. It is advisable to register with the portals and set up alerts for relevant service areas. also offers access to a wide range of public service tenders as they become available.

Please note that we will do our best to ensure that we list all available tenders, however some may slip past us, so please continue to look out for opportunities yourselves. Email any tender opportunities to

All Age Autism Support Service – Expression of Interest

London Borough of Lewisham

There is a notice of intent to publish a future tender opportunity, Lewisham Council and NHS South East London Integrated Care Board would like to commission a new service that specifically caters for Lewisham’s autistic population. It will be responsible for delivering and coordinating autism support and information services for autistic people of all ages. The service will be highly effective and provide three levels of support Level one is a universal offer of getting information and advice Level two is targeted offer for people waiting for an ASD assessment. Level three is specialist support for people who have received a diagnosis of ASD. The purpose of the service will be to improve knowledge, confidence and skills of young people, adults, families and carers, with or without a diagnosis of ASD in Lewisham to support them to achieve their full potential. As this is a new service it will be a proof of concept for two years. Please register your interest on the London Tenders Portal to be notified when the tender opportunity is published. THIS IS NOT A CALL FOR COMPETITION.

Location: United Kingdom
Value: £0
Date notice published: 10 May 2023
Approach to market date: 11 May 2023
Notice status: Open
Procurement stage: Future opportunity

Click here to find out more

23044 Cambridgeshire County Council – Older People Day Services for hunts and South Cambs

Cambridgeshire County Council

Cambridgeshire County Council currently has 3 inhouse day services for older people with eligible care and support needs, our inhouse services do not cover Huntingdonshire or South Cambridgeshire. This need is currently being met by grant funded services. After current grant arrangements end in March 2024, we are exploring options to procure services to support people with eligible care and support needs within these two districts. We want to have an offer of day services to Older People with eligible care and support needs within Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire, that can support with personal care and dementia specific needs and we are seeking early engagement with interested parties for this requirement

Location: England
Value: £0
Date notice published: 10 May 2023
Closing: 23 August 2023
Notice status: Open
Procurement stage: Early engagement

Click here to find out more

Tender opportunity: Buckinghamshire

Dynamic Purchasing Vehicle (DPV) for the Provision of Supported Living Services in Buckinghamshire

Opportunity Id:
321000 – Social Community Care Supplies & Services – Adult

Buckinghamshire Council (the Council) and Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group is seeking to establish a Dynamic Purchasing Vehicle (“DPV”) for the provision of Supported Living in Buckinghamshire (the Services).

The Council is conducting the procurement via the “Light Touch Regime” as set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015). The DPV will primarily be used for spot procurements and will enable the Council to facilitate greater choice and flexibility for Supported Living services, as well as drive improvements in quality in the market.

» Find out more here

Tender Opportunity: Complex Residential Framework Essex

Essex County Council is seeking to procure a framework for the delivery of registered residential care services to adults with complex needs, with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The framework is for an initial period of 4 years, with the option to extend for a further two years.

The framework is open to all providers (with or without existing residential services in Essex) and will not have a limit for the number of providers or homes. The closure date for the procurement process will be 12pm on 12th August 2022 and all procurement and contract documents can be viewed free of charge on ProContract –  To access the documents you will need to register on the Proactis tender portal.

Contract start date
16 January 2023

Contract end date
4 January 2027

Value of contract

Training Guidance

Blended and e-Learning

HCPA have been speaking to our partners in HCC and CCG and we have agreed upon some general guidance notes to share with providers. This is a multi-agency agreement and the guidance has been agreed by HCPA, HCC Learning & Development, HCC Monitoring and CCG Monitoring.

e-Learning is part of a blend of training interventions and should always be followed up by supervision by a person who is competent in the subject area and can ask appropriate questions. It should be aligned to competencies and any supervisor should always observe practice.

Visit the Blended and e-Learning webpage to read the guidance, including information on SCILS and iLearn.

Skills for Care-Core and mandatory training

We’ve developed guidance on refreshing knowledge and skills in a variety of topic areas based on a review of legislation, guidelines, statutory guidance, standards and recommendations. This was produced in partnership with a panel of social care employers, learning providers and representative organisations and was updated in line with CQC’s revised inspection framework.

Download the core and mandatory training requirements

Launch of Standards of Education and Practice for Nurses Working in Care Homes

The first ever standards for nurses working in residential Care Homes have been published by community nursing charity, The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) and Skills for Care. The standards are enhanced by a Practice Portfolio.

The care required by those who live in Care Homes is becoming more complex and technologically sophisticated. The QNI worked with a representative group of care home providers and commissioners to address and identify specific education and practice standards. The resulting standards include a set of benchmarks that can be used to assess the skills and knowledge that a registered nurse will need to demonstrate in a care home setting.

Download the standards

Other bodies who provide guidance

Adult Social Care Complaint Procedure Resources

The annual review reports present the Ombudsman picture of the state of adult social care complaints. They include all of our complaint statistics (complaints and enquiries we received and the decisions made) for private social care providers and local authorities.

» Adult social care complaint reviews

» Resources for care providers

Brexit updates and Guidance

» Read Government updates on the Brexit transition

Care Provider Alliance Guidance on Business Continuity EU Transition

EU Settlement Scheme guidance


Moving and Handling

Moving and handling is a key part of the working day for most frontline workers; from moving equipment, laundry, catering, supplies or waste, to assisting residents in moving.

If not done effectively poor moving and handling practice can lead to:

  • Back pain and musculoskeletal disorders (which can lead to inability to work).
  • Moving and handling accidents that can injure both the person being moved and the employee.
  • Discomfort and lack of dignity for the person being moved.

It is therefore extremely important that all care providers take action to prevent or minimise the risk of injury.

» Read more here

The Care Act

Legal trainer Belinda Schwehr answers practitioners’ more pressing questions on Care Act assessment and eligibility for people that require support.

These questions have been raised with Belinda through her legal training sessions and webinars on the Care Act.

» Click here to read more

The new edition of the Care Act guidance, includes feedback from stakeholders and care sector developments following the postponement of social care funding reforms to 2020. Please note the table of all the changes, available here to view now on the Local Government Association website.

Useful Links

» Care Quality Commission (CQC)
» Skills For Care
» National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
» The Central Alerting System
» Think Local Act Personal (TLAP)
» Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue service
» Adult Social Services
» Association of Directors of Adults Social Services (ADASS)
» Provider Assessment and Market Management Solution (PAMMS)
» Local Government Ombudsman
» The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
» The Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
» Herts Help

Additional Resources

Skip to content