There is even more of a need for robust quality assurance and compliance systems and processes to be evident throughout the duration of the pandemic, to provide everyone with the comfort and assurance that systems are in place to ensure that a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led environment can be evidenced to the highest possible level.
For those providers without a robust quality assurance monitoring system, this can initially be quite a daunting task but after initial set up it really need not be.
Simple lists can be drawn up of the checks and audits that need to be completed (or more complicated ones if you are feeling adventurous!) on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis, capturing the main areas of operations across the service such as Health and Safety, Fire Safety, Infection Prevention Control, Care and Support Plans, Medication, Staff Records, Environment and External Quality Assurance.
The important part of this process is to make sure that everyone knows who is responsible for what task relating to an audit or checklist, how often it is completed, time frame for completion and how to record and escalate any issues that are identified as this is the important part of the process that drives forward service improvements. Any actions identified can then be escalated accordingly and resources identified if needed in order to resolve the outstanding issues through a suitable service improvement plan which can be shared with all the team.
It is recommended to prioritise the actions identified with a simple traffic light rag rating system of red, amber and green, to highlight the main areas that need to be resolved or addressed with red being the highest priority to action and green the lower priority areas. Ensure the actions are allocated to a lead person and a time frame for completion is agreed and recorded.
Follow up and review is essential to close out actions completed and agree plans for the actions that need further intervention and resources in order to resolve. The key really is to review and monitor on a very regular basis, using technology where possible to do so and record the outcomes and impacts, as this will evidence the service improvements being made.
There are some really easy solutions to managing quality assurance and compliance processes and this is a time to be innovative! Use the technology available to evidence compliance and share the information with team members through shared digital folders, include as discussion items in staff supervisions on Zoom calls and use the virtual world to it’s full potential! This is a time to be innovative and to turn to technology to evidence compliance: as we all know, it really is the future!
Thank you to all of our carers, key workers and to everyone working in front line services. You are all true heroes.
‘Good and Outstanding rated services encourage and effectively resource the drive for improvement. From effective quality assurance practises to the ability to research and act upon innovation, these services are committed to providing the best care possible and can implement the changes needed.’ – Skills for Care Good and Outstanding Care Guide