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Preparing for a CQC inspection: Practice walkthrough checklist

Ahead of your CQC inspection it is a good idea to check that everything is in order around your premises.

CQC inspectors, like all humans, will make judgments on appearances as well as the evidence you present. Therefore it is important to ensure that your premises are inspection-ready.

The following is a checklist for all areas of the building (waiting room, reception, clinical rooms, offices etc)


  • Make sure your CQC registration is displayed
  • Cleanliness: Are the rooms clean and uncluttered? Remove all clinical and non clinical out of date materials from the rooms, eg BNFS, BMJs etc
  • Fire policy: check fire exits, check the extinguishers are in date and that signage is clear
  • There should be no risks to children: exposed wires, trip hazards, clinical waste bins on the floor
  • Equipment maintenance, does all equipment have PAT testing stickers?
  • Check notice boards, is it tidy with laminated notices, do you have key contacts displayed particularly with regards to child protection?
  • How is patient confidentiality maintained?  
  • For all locked cupboards, keys are clearly marked and staff know how to find them
  • Check that you have a fully stocked first aid kit, staff know where it is and what to do if it is needed.
  • Check that the accident book is in a recognised place and staff know how to report accidents
  • What procedures do you have in place for breastfeeding mothers? Are all staff aware of what to do?
  • Have you identified an isolation room and appropriate policies for its use?

Clinical areas

  • Do the infection control audit
  • Are there vaccine fridge records on every fridge and clear guidelines for what to do with vaccines if there is a power failure?
  • Hazardous substances should be labelled COSHH and out of reach of patients
  • Drug cabinets and specimen fridges should not be accessible to patients
  • Check expiry dates of vaccines, drugs and medical equipment
  • Evidence of good stock control
  • Ensure that medical supplies cupboards are locked
  • Check the oxygen supplies, defibrillator and nebulisers does everyone know how to get to these in an emergency?
  • Check the emergency drugs and anaphylaxis equipment
  • The inspectors may ask to see a doctor's bag - so warn them

Patient information and displays

  • Are your posters and the information on your call waiting board and in waiting room up to date and easy to read? Do you provide information for those who have visual impairments, can't read or don't speak English?
  • There are posters displayed to inform patients that chaperones are available
  • Is it obvious how patient's can make a complaint or suggestion to the practice?
  • Information about the PPG and information describing "you said, we did"
  • Are staff aware of how to signpost carers to relevant local organisations? Do you have a good range of patient information available?
  • Information on how to contact out-of-hours services when the practice is closed

Fionnuala O'Donnell is a practice manager in Ealing, West London, and a CCG board member

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Picture: iStock

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