Quality improvement systems are key to delivering good care

Posted on July 28th, by geoff in Caring Times letters. Comments Off on Quality improvement systems are key to delivering good care

Caring Times, July/August 2014

We have seen another disturbing programme on Panorama on BBC television – ‘Behind closed doors: elderly care exposed’. We must make sure no one has the experiences the programme portrayed.

Don’t install cameras in care homes! Cameras will not prevent abuse when intimate care is being delivered if the circumstances are present to allow abuse to happen. We know what circumstances allow poor care and abuse to pervade – numerous reports have been published about this. We know what good care looks like, for example, as set out in the research which initiated the My Home Life programme.

We already know what it takes to create a good care home, for example:

  • It’s all about a person centred culture, managed by a skilled leader (not just a manager).
  • Well motivated, kind, understanding and compassionate staff – personality is the key.
  • Well trained staff supported by a good management team.
  • A physical environment that enables, not disables people.
  • Providers who set the tone of a person centred culture, which permeates throughout the home.

What we need is for each care home to use a good quality improvement scheme (QIS). We know what good care looks like and we know there are systems and processes are out there to make it happen and audit care, for example:

  • Dementia Care Matters Butterfly scheme
  • 360 Forward standard
  • Eden Alternative

We need to embed a quality improvement system in each care home and find a way to induce all care homes to be “good” or “excellent”. Resources and money must be provided to enable homes to use an accredited and validated QIS. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) should provide a list of systems, which are accredited by them. CQC was prepared to endorse commercial suppliers to provide a rating system. Using an accredited QIS should either be a condition of registration or an essential standard.

– Cathy Butterworth, Independent Nurse Consultant SHARP Records and Plans

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