A single view of quality
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” – Peter Drucker
“You can’t inspect quality into a care home.” – Chris Vellenoweth, former head of of the former National Association of Inspection and Regulation Officers (NAIRO)
In its current consultation document Shaping the future, the Care Quality Commission, in setting out its vision for the future regulation of health and social care, includes among its seven main themes, its wish to implement a single view of quality – a single shared system of measurement that supports providers to easily monitor their own quality and share information about their performance.
I don’t think it’s going to manage this. ‘Quality’, is just as hard to pin down as other abstract nouns such as ‘love’ and ‘morality’. Quality is very hard to measure; for example, a care worker may have no formal qualifications but deliver excellent care for all that, and it works the other way as well.
Perhaps CQC should lower its sights and go for a commonly recognised set of measurable standards (National Minimum Standards?) which will create the conditions in which high quality care has the best chance of thriving. It has been shown to be difficult enough to achieve consensus on minimum standards without muddying the waters by bringing ‘quality’ (which is essentially perceptual and experiential) into the debate.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.