The Importance of the implementation of robust Quality Assurance Frameworks across Adult Social Care
Having had years of experience of monitoring the quality, performance and effectiveness of a vast range of both regulated and non-regulated care and support services, I can honestly say that if providers implement an effective quality assurance framework, organisations would be informed and prepared for most, if not all events.
A robust, effective quality assurance framework can evidence positive outcomes and standards, identify and drive forward service improvements through the implementation of action plans, which in turn facilitate change and improvement, as well as a culture of continuous improvement. The framework can increase confidence levels, inform and educate staff ultimately raising customers, their support network and stakeholder satisfaction levels and further supporting the evidencing of high levels of compliance and business assurance for both Commissioners and Regulators.
Skills for Care’s publication ‘Guide to Improvement’ states how quality assurance is everyone’s responsibility and how important it is to ensure that all staff are aware of their own roles and responsibilities and the positive impact this has when quality assurance systems and processes are effectively implemented and embedded across services.
There are a number of methods that can be used to monitor and measure quality to formulate a robust and effective quality assurance framework that can be implemented across any care and support service, to evidence the delivery of high-quality person-centred care and the driving forward of service improvements.
All quality assurance methods should be underpinned by the organisational vision and values and take into account national good and best practise, relevant legislation and regulatory standards.
Methods include a range of audit tools, systems and processes to assess the quality of care and support plans and the delivery of person-centred care, Health and Safety checks, Infection Prevention Control, Medication and the outcomes of any external inspections. All audits, checklists and inspections and their outcomes can also be supported by staff, customer and stakeholder consultation and engagement, review of accidents and incidents, analysis of complaints and any lessons learned.
Outcomes and findings from the quality assurance framework should formulate the service improvement plan and be shared widely with staff team members, in order for all staff to learn and develop further in their roles. Action plans drive forward service improvements in a consistent, planned and managed approach.
All good and best practise organisations such as Skills for Care, NICE and SCIE and the Regulator the Care Quality Commission recognise the importance of quality improvement, innovation and sustainability. The CQC specifically regulate under the Well-led inspection area on ‘How effective are quality assurance, information and clinical governance systems in supporting and evaluating learning from the current performance? How are they used to drive continuous improvement and manage future performance?
How does your organisation and/or services demonstrate effective quality assurance systems to monitor the standards of the service and also how the service is performing? How are service improvements identified, implemented and monitored?
A service improvement plan that is effectively implemented and managed, regularly reviewed and shared with staff is highly recommended. It really is that simple.