Guidance for Care Assurance Visits
The purpose of the Care Assurance visit is to observe the clinical environment with fresh eyes and to provide the clinical team with objective feedback. The information gained will provide a better understanding of how patients and service users first experience their care environment and also how welcome visitors are made to feel on entering the clinical environment. (15 steps NHS England 2017 - accessible here)
Care Assurance Visit using the Combined Care Assurance Audit Tool (CCAAT)
Objectives of the visit:
Who should carry out a Care Assurance visit?
Two experienced Healthcare Professionals (HCPs), Band 6 or above, neither of whom are affiliated to the clinical area. Both HCPs must have knowledge and understanding of medical and nursing documentation, risk assessments and the care assurance process.
How often should a Care Assurance visit be carried out?
All acute inpatient wards must have a Care Assurance visit using the Combined Care Assurance Audit Tool (CCAAT) a minimum of once every 12 months. Further information can be found here.
How can I prepare for a Care Assurance Visit?
To prepare to undertake a Care Assurance visit it is recommended that you read the 15 steps guidance (NHS England), watch the guidance video above and familiarise yourself with the CCAAT v12.2
How long do the visits take?
The Care Assurance visit normally takes 3-4 hours and must include the opportunity to observe a meal service.
Initial Approach in Clinical Environment
Arrival in Clinical Area
All staff undertaking a Care Assurance visit must be in uniform and should identify themselves on arrival to the nurse in charge, explaining the purpose of the visit.
Speaking to Staff, Patients & Carers
Take time during your visits to speak to staff, patients and carers/visitors to gain feedback about the clinical area from their perspective. However please check with nurse in charge if there are any patients that should not be approached due to their clinical condition.
Clinical area details, including date, SCN/SCM/TL, Nurse in Charge name & staffing skills mix
End of the Visit
The CCAAT must be completed by the two HCPs, who discuss, agree and record their observations/comments into the electronic document. The HCPs should provide verbal feedback on the visit and the initial compliance score must be shared with the senior charge nurse/nurse in charge. The overall compliance score and the completed CCAAT must be emailed to the clinical areas SCN / SCM / TL and the lead nurse respectively no later than 5pm on the day of the visit.
An integral part of the Care Assurance process is the completion of an improvement plan targeted at any area of the CCAAT which returns a red or amber score. The improvement plan template is located within the second sheet of the CCAAT. The SCN / SCM / TL of the clinical area visited is responsible for completing an improvement plan within 28 days of the visit.