Care providers take lead in transparency
Caring Times, September 2012
The Care Providers Alliance, has welcomed the Government acknowledgement in the Data White Paper of the care sector‘s transparency initiative.
CPA chair, Martin Green said: “The acknowledgement of the transparency initiative in the Government’s Data White Paper, is a positive endorsement for this important initiative, which is being led by some care providers and which it is hoped, will enable service users and their families to make informed choices. It is good to see the care sector leading the way on quality and the government acknowledging this.”
Bridget Warr, the chief executive of The United Kingdom Home Care Association said: “We are delighted with the interest in this initiative shown by our member organisations in the development of concise quality indicators that address issues which really make a difference to people’s experience of their care service.
“It is absolutely vital that people who use social care services have a clear range of information about the quality of the care services they choose to purchase, or are arranged for them by the state.”
Some of the country’s biggest care providers have committed to publish new data that will transform the public’s ability to make informed choices about the care they choose. The new agreement will see care providers release data that will allow members of the public to compare the quality of care provided by different organisations. The organisations who have signed up to a Transparency and Quality Compact include some which provide care at home, and some which operate care homes. They are:
- Anchor Trust
- Barchester Healthcare
- Four Seasons Healthcare
- Good Care Group
- Methodist Homes Association
- Westminster Homecare
There is evidence that people struggle to find good information about care and support for themselves and their family. Those providers involved say this industry-led initiative will help them identify good care and make an informed choice about the providers they use. These organisations above say they are leading the way, and the expectation is that more providers will sign up over time helping to build an even more comprehensive picture of the quality of care provided across the country.
The trade bodies involved are ECCA (English Community Care Association), NCF (National Care Forum) and UKHCA (UK Home Care Association). The data that will be published from the autumn will be slightly different for care homes and homecare, but is likely to include: staff turnover (both homecare and care homes) ratios of trained to untrained staff (both homecare and care homes) compliments and complaints (both homecare and care homes) % residents developing new pressure ulcers (care homes) % residents who have a fall (care homes) number of medication errors (care homes) % of appointments not missed (homecare) appointments carried out at the agreed time (homecare).
“Large social care providers have been leading the way in developing and improving the quality of data about social care services,” said Martin Green, chief executive opf the English Community Care Association (ECCA) and the current chair of the CPA.
“This data is being delivered in an accessible way, so that people who use services have enough information to make informed choices and can understand and differentiate the quality of care.
“The publication of the Government’s Open Data White Paper has been warmly welcomed by the social care sector, who believes that the use of data could be a powerful tool in improving consumer understanding of care services, which will lead to better consumer choice and improved quality.
“The data White Paper will ensure a clear framework, within which data can be used as a driver to improve services and increase consumer choice.”
Mike Parsons, Founder and chief executive of Barchester Healthcare, said a simplified, accountable and transparent framework for data collection within social care, focused on outcomes and excellence, would provide a sound basis for moving its services forward.
“We have a special interest in transparent outcomes and have been working to introduce data collection that runs in parallel with NHS systems, so that outcomes can eventually be compared across the care sector,” said Mr Parsons.
Four Seasons Healthcare chief executive Dr Peter Calveley said Four Seasons had recently spent significant time with organisations such as ADASS in improving transparency and access to information regarding our business. “We are delighted that the government has developed this white paper and will work with colleague organisations, government and other key stakeholders in achieving improved transparency of information within our sector,” said Dr Calveley.