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CQC review of Birtley throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic

How has Birtley House Nursing Home Managed and adapted to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

– CQC provided a report on their views on this on 12th June 2020.

Whilst CQC are not actively inspecting premises during the Covid-19 pandemic, they have maintained contact with providers through existing monitoring arrangements and support calls to cover the four assessment areas:

  • Safe Care and Treatment
  • Staffing arrangements
  • Protection from Abuse
  • Assurance Processes, Monitoring and Risk Management

Here is a summary so far of what they had to say in relation to each point above, including reference to the daily practices of Birtley House Nursing Home and the management of the business throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Safe Care & Treatment

We were able to provide evidence of systems we have in place to assess and respond to risks regarding infection control, including new risks associated with Covid-19. Essential PPE is also available in adequate quantities. CQC were satisfied that our steps taken to contain any outbreak could not be more effective, and that these systems were clear and accessible to Staff, Residents and any visitors to Birtley House. New systems in place did not compromise the safe management of existing medicine management, or general risk management. The systems also enable us as a provider to respond to new and emerging risks, including any risks posed by Covid-19.

Staffing arrangements

CQC were satisfied that there are enough suitably skilled staff to provide safe care in a respectful and dignified way, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Should a staff shortfall take place, or an emergency during the pandemic, there are realistic and workable contingency plans in place.

Protection from abuse

All Residents continue to be protected against any abuse, neglect or discrimination. Actions had been taken and protocols in place to respond to any incidents, alerts or potential safeguarding incidents.

Assurance processes, monitoring and risk management

It is clear that Staff health, safety and well-being have been protected despite the increased pressures associated with Covid-19. Staff have been given clear ways to highlight concerns they may have during the pandemic. The care and treatment for Residents of the home continues to be recorded accurately, and systems remain effective in monitoring the overall quality and safety of care being provided at the service throughout this time.


CQC were satisfied that we have thoroughly demonstrated that we have not allowed the pandemic to affect the quality and safety of the care we provide. We have various contingency plans in place, which are effective enough to manage potential outbreaks or mass staff sickness. Staff have received extra training on various areas including proper use of PPE and managing equipment and resources by reducing the need to move equipment and other resources across the house. Birtley House have demonstrated also that there has been strong leadership in place, and good management of any agency staff used by only accepting block bookings. We could also demonstrate that we have optimised the use of technology and found creative ways to keep Residents connected with their loved ones, as well as providing support to family members through regular communication. CQC recognised that we have implemented new innovations, and that this time has allowed us to reflect how we wish to move forward in the future. This has helped to shape our four core values – Positivity, Adaptability, Integrity, Kindness – which are being launched soon as part of our daily framework.

To finish with a summarising quote from CQC at the end of their report summary:

“You have also worked collaboratively with other stakeholders and partners to review, improve and shape the future of care.”

Our last inspection was June 2019, you can find the report here: