CQC and substance misuse inspection standards 

After April 2015 the CQC will be rolling out the new guidance for providers of substance misuse services. This introduces the new ‘fundamental standards’ regulation and the use of ratings. It will also include experts by experience. The revised standards, to incorporate substance misuse services, are complex but with the support of Get Into Recovery enhancing service delivery they are achievable.


One thing is for sure in the UK. This will impact on many, if not all, providers of substance misuse services.


CQC inspectors use professional judgement, supported by objective measures and evidence,

to assess services against five key questions:


Are they safe?


Are they effective?


Are they caring?


Are they responsive to people’s needs


Are they well-led?

I am looking at some of these elements and demonstrate below where using Get Into Recovery will assist providers in achieving an ‘outstanding’ rating when inspected. When looking at the criteria around the five key questions I have picked out three areas that using WISC will have an impact on.


In order to achieve ‘outstanding’ in the ‘Effective’ category a provider will have to evidence that:


“Outcomes for people who use services are consistently better than expected when compared with other similar services”.


Two of the specific points here are:


“There is a truly holistic approach to assessing, planning and delivering care and treatment to people who use services. The safe use of innovative and pioneering approaches to care and how it is delivered are actively encouraged. New evidence- based techniques and technologies are used to support the delivery of high-quality care”.


The Get Into Recovery Integrated Step Course is a tried and tested innovative way of teaching the 12 Steps. It includes psychosocial approaches as well as CBT and Motivational Interviewing. Of course this is all put together in a format that uses evidence based teaching techniques that delivers a progressive and comprehensive programme that takes into account individual learning ability and skill.


“All staff are actively engaged in activities to monitor and improve quality and outcomes. Opportunities to participate in benchmarking, peer review, accreditation and research are proactively pursued. High performance is recognised by credible external bodies”.


Using Get Into Recovery means that staff and peers are actively engaged in monitoring, reviewing and assessing. There is an ongoing commitment by WISC to actively work with feedback and tailor the programme to the client. New material and research will be added to lesson plans and client work regularly. Continuing on site visits will include evaluation and training.


The next area is that of ‘Responsive’ and in order to achieve recognition here and receive and outstanding grade a provider should demonstrate;


“There is a proactive approach to understanding the needs of different groups of people and to deliver care in a way that meets these needs and promotes equality. This includes people who are in vulnerable circumstances or who have complex needs”.


The programme takes into account peoples complex needs. In particular the educational approach that is applied to the programme has a progressive learning curve that can be tailored to an individuals needs. Although there is classroom work and written work there is a proactive role for peers to help those with literacy needs or other needs to achieve that work. The programme has multiple sessions to cover the same topic, thus accounting for peoples different learning styles. For instance most sessions will have a discussion element, a practical element, a presentation element and a written element. All these sessions can be peer or counsellor supported.


The final area that I looked at is that of ‘Well lead’ and to achieve an outstanding in this area the provider needs to be aware of the following


“The leadership drives continuous improvement and staff are accountable for delivering change. Safe innovation is celebrated. There is a clear proactive approach to seeking out and embedding new and more sustainable models of care”.


Get Into Recovery is a new model in the way it delivers a 12 Step programme. However it is based on sound educational principles and researched and evidenced therapies and techniques. WISC provides quality assurances and is committed to continual improvement through on going consultation with all stakeholders. This will include up to date research and models of care. For instance a session plan is currently being written to include Dr Al Mooney’s Recovery Zones as part of a relapse prevention session.


For further discussion and information please contact us here. 

Our Integrated Step Course was mentioned as one of the contributing factors for Recovery Connections receiving an


quality rating in 2019