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Care Quality

Checking that care providers are delivering a good service

If you are a member of the public or a professional, and worried about the care that someone is receiving, please let us know by completing our report a concern about care quality online form.

You can find out how we use the information you give us in our Icon for pdf Reporting a Concern leaflet [38KB] .

If you think someone is at risk of serious harm, criminal behaviour is taking place, or if the problem has occurred regularly or repeatedly and is likely to happen again, complete our online Safeguarding Alert form instead.

On this page:

Information for providers

We've provided some guidance documents below that go into more detail about our quality assurance checks, what we're expecting providers to adhere to, and our procedures:

About the Care Quality Team

The Care Quality Team work with providers of all adult social care services in West Berkshire to identify concerns about care, make improvements and share good practice.

We work closely with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure that our services meet national standards.

What is our role?

We work with providers of adult social care services to:

  • Offer challenge, support, information and guidance to improve the quality of service being delivered
  • Monitor and respond to intelligence that may indicate that there is a problem with service delivery, for example CQ1's, Care Quality Commission reports, whistleblowers, complaints, safeguarding alerts and information from other agencies or Local Authorities
  • Work closely with colleagues across West Berkshire Council's Social Care Service, Health and external agencies (eg: The Care Quality Commission) to share information
  • Share good practice and create networking opportunities

Who do we support?

We focus our support on providers of adult social care services (Providers) within West Berkshire. This includes: residential units, domiciliary care agencies, dayservices and supported living.

What types of visits do we undertake and what paperwork do we use?

Annual Review (or telephone call)

This is an opportunity for Providers to share information about their service and for us to share information about what we can offer. We aim to visit everyone once a year.

This review takes an hour and a half.

For this review we use an Annual Visit Record. This is a record of the visit, signed by the Provider and Care Quality Officer to confirm the contents.

Thematic Review

This is an in-depth review on a specific theme, for example finances. The topic changes each quarter and we select different Providers to visit each time. Each review will be carried out in the same way and will allow us to look in depth at the specific topic of review. During Thematic Reviews we will not be looking at other areas of a Provider's service; if a Provider would like to discuss any other areas the Care Quality Team will arrange a further visit.

A Thematic Review takes 3 hours.

For this review we use a Thematic Review Record. This is a record of the visit, signed by the Provider and Care Quality Officer to confirm the contents. If necessary a Part 2 Action Plan will be completed. The areas for improvement and priority are set out by the Care Quality Officer. The actions required and timescales are completed together through discussion and agreement.

Reactive Review

This is arranged because we have received information that there may be issues relating to the Providers provision of care or because they are already working to an action plan and we want to review progress.

A Reactive Review takes 3 hours.

For this review we use Part 1 Notes of Visit. This is a record of the visit to be signed by the Provider and Care Quality Officer to confirm the contents and, if necessary, a Part 2 Improvement Plan will be completed. Areas for improvement and priorities are set out by the Care Quality Officer. The actions required and timescales are completed together through discussion and agreement.

All reviews may include visits to locations of service delivery (including Service Users homes) and offices. Care Quality Officers may be accompanied by another officer of West Berkshire Council and/or an external agency during any review.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the Care Quality Team will advise what type of review will be undertaken, who will be attending, what they will need access to, and the reasons for their visit by telephone and a follow up email.

What do we review against?

We review against:

  • Care Quality Commissions Key Lines of Enquiry and 'Mum test'
  • Care Quality Commission regulations
  • Contract and Specification
  • Relevant law, regulations and guidance produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • West Berkshire Council Quality Wheel

What else do we offer Providers?

We offer:

  • Provider Forums
  • A library of precedent documents
  • A wealth of knowledge, having worked in the care industry and reviewed many different providers of services over several years and observed good practice
  • Access to SCOPS
  • Access to the Grey Matter
  • Focus groups to address areas of concern identified
  • Analysis of market place themes and trends
  • Bespoke training (at an extra cost)
  • General training (at an extra cost)

What is a CQ1?

A CQ1 is a form which is available to the public and professionals to raise any concern, issue, omission, or error in Adult Social care provided, or performance in the service received; no matter how trivial.

This is important as there are so many diverse services provided, settings and client bases that we cannot review each one in depth. The reporting enables the Care Quality Team to have an accurate oversight of the issues facing Providers. It enables data analysis so that themes and trends of concerns, issues, omissions and errors reported in adult social care can be identified, shared and addressed so improvement can be made.

You can find the CQ1 Form and guidance at the top of this page; it can be completed by anyone.

What is a restriction?

As a result of concerns, the Council may put in place a restriction on commissioning. The types of restrictions are:

  • Embargo: this means West Berkshire Council will not make any placements with this Provider whilst an embargo is in place and will closely monitor any service users already placed with the Provider. Exceptions will be considered by relevant professionals in the event an increase to an existing care package is required
  • Place with Caution: this means West Berkshire Council have concerns about the service being provided. Placements may be made with this Provider on a case by case basis, but West Berkshire Council will consider the concerns and risks to the service user before making a placement to ensure it is appropriate.

For information on the process and triggers for restrictions, please ask the Care Quality Team for our procedure document titled Restrictions on Placements. Restrictions are shared with other agencies and Local Authorities.

Contact us


Telephone: Jo Bateman - Senior Care Quality Officer: 01635 519503, or Sophie Sumner - Care Quality Officer: 01635 503356.

Address: Market Street, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5LD.

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