Are you confident in your quality assurance processes?
All to often I support services where their Quality Assurance processes have evolved through time (I can hear a few people asking what is wrong with that?!). The issue here, is not that lessons are being learned, but that too many cooks have spoiled the broth. New management start and leave, they bring new ideas and make changes (often brought in from past employers). People are inspected by commissioners and regulators and ‘suggestions are made’. Throughout this, processes and systems change; but not always for the better. They become repetitive, the people completing them no longer understand their purpose and ultimately, they are no longer, ‘fit for purpose.’
In my career as a troubleshooter I have managed a number of services that were placed under embargo and were often under scrutiny through safeguarding for ‘systemic abuse.’ Systems have failed, and quality has ‘slipped through the proverbial net.’ Resulting in vulnerable people in the care system experiencing some form of abuse.
Assuring quality should never be a ‘tick box exercise.’ With so many providers now opting for systems that are technology based I fear that using emotional intelligence will get missed.
Effective Quality Assurance processes and systems underpin all areas of compliance. Monitoring plans of care, social life, and outcomes for people should show that you truly and compassionately care for the people you support. When monitoring key performance indicators and risk assessments this should show that you are effective safely in what you achieve for people. Looking at multi disciplinary processes, the needs of people in your care service, and the care that is being delivered should show that you are responsive to individuals. The leadership teams, from heads of departments through to senior management, having a handle on and really knowing the service should show that you lead well.
Since setting up CLICK compliance I have been researching Quality Assurance systems across a number of providers. There are some fantastic systems out there, however! They are only as good as the person reading, and completing them. They are only as good as the actions taken, and the lessons learned. They are only good with outcomes for people.
I write this in the hope to inspire you to think about the systems in your services; and how caring, safe, effective, responsive and well-led they really are. If I can be of any assistance in independently monitoring the systems you use, or the quality of your service please do get in touch.
Thank you for your time.