Calling all Social Care Providers

Valued Care Solutions has new and improved quality assurance and governance services available for all providers of care and supports across the Social Care market in 2017.

Following an in-depth look into the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) ambitious vision Shaping the future: CQC’s strategy for 2016 to 2021’, and understanding through experience the position of many providers of Social Care, I have set about developing a quality assurance programme and governance system. This programme and system is developed in order for you as a provider in the Social Care market to accurately and positively record, document and highlight quality within the services you provide, in a way that can integrate into your annual business planning, and be given straight to a regulating professional when needed.

Within ‘Priority 3 Promote a single shared view of quality’ the CQC have indicated that they will be looking for providers of service to develop their own quality assurance systems in order to show their quality in compliance with the regulation standards:

“We will encourage providers to develop their own quality assurance based on the five key questions and to share this with us as part of an ongoing conversation about quality”

This is where VCS can support you and your organisation. Whether you are a residential or nursing home, community or domiciliary service, day service, ambulance service or any type of CQC registered provider, I have several different ranges of quality assurance systems and guidance available. These include, but are not limited to:

Monthly Visits – A visit made to site to meet with management and assess whether the service meets each of CQC’s 13 ‘Fundamental Standards’ of quality within the regulations. One standard looked at each month.

Quarter or Half Yearly Visits – A site visit every 3 or 6 months to complete a comprehensive audit of overall delivery of service, shaped by the ‘Five Key Questions’

Annual Visit – A site visit once a year to complete a whole home audit similar to a mock inspection to ensure that quality assurance systems and practices in place are compliant with regulation standards.

What I can offer to you and your organisation is a personally tailored quality assurance programme that will complement your existing internal systems whilst ensuring continuous improvement to meet regulation compliance at all times.

Please feel free to get in touch for a no obligation meet-up or chat about your organisation’s requirements.

I look forward to hearing from you soon,
Stephen Briscoe ACMI

Contact – Details via website

 

Compassionate Care?

Today I was posed this question for an answer…….

“What is compassionate care?”

The person in question themselves had been asked this question by someone looking at their service supports and was taken aback to find themselves struggling for an immediate answer.

At first I too somewhat chuckled at the request thinking how long have you got for me to answer that one and then I looked again at the person who had posed the question.

Again I was asked with a slight smile this time…….

“What is compassionate care? I’d like to know your take in less than 2 sentences”

Wow in less than 2 sentences you say 🙂 – anybody that knows me will attest to 2 sentences being a slight issue to a conversationalist like myself.

So this time I stopped, concentrated on the question at hand and responded as follows……

“Compassionate care to me is fully respecting another person to see them as an individual and not as a practice or a condition. In doing this I feel it leads to care that is compassionate and reflects the unique individual’s needs to having positive well-being.”

Wow again that was hard I followed it up with, I can see where you found it difficult to immediately respond…..

So that dear reader is my question to you in view of this post. In as short a way as possible let me know:

“To you, what is compassionate care?”

I look forward to reading your comments and feel free to contact to discuss these thoughts more,

Take care and remember “With hope and belief there are no limitations”

Stephen

 

What is a Quality, ‘Quality Assurance’ for Care Providers?

The CQC recently launched its new five year vision “Shaping the future CQC’s strategy for 2016 to 2021” which sets out the main priorities and objectives into how “…an ambitious vision for a more targeted, responsive and collaborative approach to regulation, so more people get high-quality care” can be achieved.

Now as a care provider or someone involved in the care sector reading this, I strongly recommend grabbing a brew and taking the time to read through carefully. CQC’s aims set out in this strategy cover many valuable points for consideration in order for you to attain a quality level of delivery compliant with regulation requirements.

However for the focus of this post I would like to concentrate on one area and key detail that was noted in reading this document.

Within “Priority 3 – Promote a single shared view of quality” CQC have detailed the following:

“We will encourage providers to develop their own quality assurance based on the five key questions and to share this with us as part of an ongoing conversation about quality.”

This detail effectively gives you as a provider the empowerment to create and develop a tailored quality assurance system that can clearly identify and evidence how your service meets and achieves those requirements of the five key question areas.

In addition this encouragement provides a service the opportunity not only to develop a quality assurance system that meets the regulatory requirements but also affords the service.

So in answer to my posts original question: What is a Quality, ‘Quality Assurance’ for Care Providers?

My answer is: Providers need to have a quality assurance system that not only achieves compliance with statutory regulatory bodies but also links to and highlights directly, visible evidence of how the system supports and has supported, quality outcomes and improvements in health and well-being for the people receiving and the staff delivering your supports.

Now as a business adviser in this area I have to comment there are several ‘Quality Assurance’ systems available currently on the market, all of which I am sure you will be able to find via a reputable internet search engine.

However one of my main principles in establishing Valued Care Solutions was to be a supportive beacon to care providers across the sector. A positive support to those providers who, acknowledging their responsibilities in achieving requirements from regulatory bodies, were left with a feeling of who or where do we turn to in the support of focused guidance.

As a result of the above Valued Care Solutions has various schedules of quality assurance that can be utilised and further developed to ensure your service is reaching and achieving these highlighted requirements whilst also receiving *Outstanding* acknowledgement in this area of quality service delivery.

Please feel free to contact to further discuss quality assurance and its requirements alongside how Valued Care Solutions can work with your service to bespoke a schedule to positively highlight your delivery of support services.

Contact for a no obligation chat – Link to contact

Thank you for taking the time to read,

Stephen Briscoe Valued Care Solutions

Forget the tick box just do

I’ll start this post off with one of, if not the, most discussed area I chat with care homes about and that sounds like this –

“We want to do lots of positive different things for our residents and staff all the time but I don’t know how do we’d be able to show that to CQC when they come visit our home”

After hearing this discussion, in several slightly different formats but ultimately with same end result, it got me thinking……

Why where managers and owners unconsciously saying we’re not going to do that positive thing for our service as I can’t put that on paper or in a box to be ticked to say I’m compliant when CQC and/or outside professionals come to look at the home.

So I started to think some more around how that might of happened……..

I have felt Health services for long time now been channelled, in that you have to fit certain criteria in order for you to receive treatments and/or pay privately for those same treatments to be delivered: only just read in the news this morning – Postcode Lottery

This then leads to a decision making bias of process in what can and can’t be delivered and in what conditions will or won’t be supported by health services. As a result of this decision bias, a systematic process which creates benchmarks and tick box led required documentation to show that those decisions are having an impact is naturally brought in – target based models.

Social Care has followed a similar target model in recent years – only people who can pay or meet the rigid decision bias criteria of care supports get it. So again as in health the end result is we must process these people through regulations and documentation to show that we are doing a good thing and/or we give power to decision makers to challenge those who are not ticking their boxes in meeting the decided set out criteria.

So getting back to the original point does that mean if what we do can’t fit it into one of those decided criteria tick boxes we should not do it or feel that we as a service could be penalised for not shoehorning it into a tick box – absolutely not – not everyone’s choice in what they wish will fit neatly into a box and why should it – we should do more of it and then some more!!! (Revolution here we come 🙂 )

Bear with me here, take the word Innovation – definition – (OED) – A new method, idea, product, etc. To me someone experiencing innovation has come to mean “wow I have found someone or something doing or delivering something that is different and you know what it’s amazing and its work – we must have it!”

Ok a little tongue in cheek at the end maybe but this is now how I base my answer to the original question and get care homes to look at things slightly differently:

Original –We want to do lots of positive different things for our residents and staff all the time”

Slight tweak  – “We are doing lots of positive different things with our residents and staff all of the time that we can’t always capture but you know what that’s ok”

Original – “I don’t know how do we’d be able to show that to CQC/professionals when they come visit our home

Slight tweak“Our resident’s and staffs positive well-being really shows here and we are achieving great things”

Let’s lead the revolution one tweak at a time and let’s stop thinking about how something that means something to someone needs to fit in the tick-box for compliance and let’s as Nike very eloquently put “Just do it”.

nike_justdoit

Till next time, take care all and remember “With hope and belief there are no limitations”

Stephen 🙂

Would you want to be called a “Service User”?

I have taken to writing this post following interaction with the Guardian Social’s news piece on “Want to modernise mental health policy? Listen to service users” LINK

Now it is an interesting piece on its own and well worth a read however it was following the below tweet that got me engaged in interacting with the debate being had

In that tweet as you can see it says:

“Am I the only one that really hates the term service user?”

In a very short answer NO YOU ARE NOT!

It was one of the first things I made sure I changed when I left my local authority job several years ago as I hated (and I don’t use that word often) the label attached to the statement of “Service User”.

People who are in need of care and/or support are not service users, they are not numbers they are people plain and simple. The ‘Service User’ tag for me made it easy for leaders of services to tag numbers and build services for users to fit into as opposed to focusing on people and building services that can support (the right way). Furthermore being person centred, where health and social care should be striving to achieve, is to see the person not a condition/illness and as a result for me “service user” loses the main focus of seeing the person.

I also had a tweet following my post on Twitter from @CarolineLyall1 read:

“I always say client… Is this old fashioned?”

My reply was simple:

“I wouldn’t say old fashioned per se using individual/person ensures focus is on person not the service IMO”

Again I wouldn’t say client was wrong for someone who is working business to business however for me where care and support is involved it will now and forever will be:

“Individual and/or Person”

That way I will always see the person in front of me and ensure that the supports and care delivered meet that individuals need.

It was interesting to get a reply from the person who tweeted that read:

“Hummm, interesting. Thank you, I will definitely consider this”

I thank you for reading and please would love to hear your thoughts on the use of “Service User” and our other labels in social care.

Take Care and remember

“With hope and belief there are no limitations”

Stephen

‘Appreciative Inquiry’ the way forward for SocialCare change management

This post is to show how Appreciative Inquiry (AI) can support positive changes in the health and social care market. For those readers unfamiliar with AI please take the time to check out the work of David Cooperider, including – Appreciative Inquiry: A positive Revolution in Change

This post is around recent work that I have been undertaking in turning around a residential/nursing home rated as ‘requires improvement’ from the Care Quality Commission and needing change from local authority and health professionals involved in order to deliver the quality care service expected of an excellent care home provider.

Now before I utilise this post to show how AI is a positive tool to use in achieving desired outcomes, improving goals set and further developing best practice of service delivery, I must say that AI can be used in various different ways of working – including change management, future developments of new service projects and changing cultures of employment, for example.

So back to this post..…….

VCS took on this project off the back of providing an initial comprehensive audit/visit including findings, potential actions and outcomes for the provider in achieving positive changes to become more compliant with regulatory organisations – Positive Change Management

After speaking at length with the owners of the service (1 of which I had previous and current work with) I was able to highlight how AI would support the radical change needed in service delivery to create a service that was safe, meaningful and directly support individual led delivery of care for all people, families/relatives, employees and professionals accessing the service/home.

AI is explained as being a “Collective action designed to evolve the vision and will of a group, an organisation or as a society as a whole” (David Cooperider). For me, understanding how AI can support best practice achievement in health and social care is as follows:

“It’s an energy focus to progress development and delivery through positivity and specifically an awareness of the care service being acknowledged as an organic living entity”

Potential to sound a little scary for traditional corporate management types I am sure, but stay with me. Can I show you how this looks in practice? Well firstly I would love to take you and your business/service through it personally so please get in touch (Contact link) and for these who need more let me continue………

The main function and/or lead focus for AI is the 4D cycle, which is a set of prompts from which you can explore and nurture ideas and new thoughts in order to gain a collective approach on how you are to change and/or develop the outcomes you are looking for.

So again let me return to the example of my recent support of residential/nursing home in turnaround using AI. Using the 4D cycle it looked in simple terms like this:

1D – DISCOVERY: Appreciating and Valuing the here and now to better understand the home, its residents, its employees and its service delivery, whilst gaining a vital platform on which to ‘build new’ and ‘develop existing’ ways of quality person centred care. Prompts include: “What gives the service its life?”, “Describe and highlight the best of what it is and what it does”.

2D – DREAM: Envisioning what an achievable gold standard of personalised quality care supports would look like and how it would be delivered and received by individuals accessing, employees working and relatives/professionals/local community being involved with. Prompts include: “What might it be?”, “Describe or picture the image/model of what the local area is calling for”.

3D – DESIGN: Constructing the future service and how that will be in practice moving forward. Prompts include: “How can it be?”, “Determining the ideal model needed to create and/or develop reaching the gold standard identified”.

4D – DESTINY: Sustaining the developed service in order for it to continue to organically grow and evolve to meet the changing needs of care and people in need of care in the future. Prompts include: “What will it be?”, “Describe or picture the learning, empowerment and continuous improvement that would show sustainability in the future”.

So what has it achieved for the home and service? Well as we stand now the home is in a much safer and secure position; its delivery of care is acknowledged by all professionals involved as greatly improved; residents and relatives have stated how much of an improvement has been noted (shown within a recent HealthWatch visit which received a score of 4.6 out of 5); staff turnover has drastically reduced and retention is greater improved; and finally the home are awaiting the Care Quality Commissions return to complete a comprehensive report into changes made.

David Cooperider explains “Every organisation has something that works right, things that give it life, when it’s most alive, effective, successful and connected in healthy ways to its stakeholders and communities”

For me in the way I use AI in supporting social care organisations and providers is to understand its organic state then identify what is positive, and connect it in ways that intensify energy, vision and positively create actions for real individual person centred changes in care delivery.

I would love for people to follow this up with comments and I would also like the opportunity to speak directly to you and your organisation on how I and VCS can positively support your services.

Till then take care and remember,

“With hope and belief there are no limitations”

Stephen

A new way to start thinking

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time and I hope I can do it justice, so please keep with it. I would also love to have your feedback on the content once you’ve had a chance to read through so please click the comments box and add to the discussions, thank you.

This post is all around how for me there is need to explore a different focus to create and develop a whole community involved, connected social care service that lives seamlessly within the communities we live in.

A couple of years ago now I was fortunate enough to be involved in a really innovative project that was brought together by likeminded individuals under the guise of the “Good Enterprise Lab” https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ice/2014/03/05/good-enterprise-lab-real-change-enterprise/  that was held within the Edge Hill University complex  with a special nod to the creator Andres Roberts http://andresroberts.com/

Now this post is not to go into the finer points of the work undertaken, however I’d like to highlight a couple of the really positive elements experienced including:

  • From the start people involved didn’t focus on where they were from in terms of job role, however following the positive conversations, focussed on what skills and attributes they wanted to contribute to the ideas created
  • The use of person centred approaches, asset based community development and appreciative inquiry in order to develop those innovative ideas
  • The total negation of the focus of money and/or higher management decision and policy leads in the progress of the project

What I’d also add is that the whole project from my perspective and involvement started to unravel as many of these projects do (in my experience) when people in higher positions got more involved to steer the focus of aims to access funding streams. This then became the single focus of actions and outcomes to take instead of the positive innovative social care ideas – a totally contradictory approach to the positive work that was undertaken in the first place.

Now I am not trying to start an anti-establishment, rebellious thinking, free funded movement (or am I?). What I am interested to initiate, explore and would love to hear from other likeminded individuals about is; can the positive work started in the ‘Good Enterprise Lab’ be used to further nurture social care community ideas without fear of cost, funding or higher position management led focus?

Thus for this to be further explored and developed in such a way that the ‘contract/funded rule book’ is out the window and we create a foundation of the following:

  • Likeminded individuals working together, from all different backgrounds but a common goal to make a difference, to explore ideas and creativity in the health/social care sector
  • A pooling and exploration of existing positive streams/services/projects that could come together or be enhanced to create a collective positive stable wellbeing project in itself
  • The re-appropriation of existing services that don’t specifically look at achieving outcomes of health/social care inequalities, however with a little tweaking could be supported in achieving those goals
  • A chance to change the very way in which planned changes to community health and social care is looked at to a more community driven citizenship owned, ‘what a community needs’ led health and social care provision

I am not saying that this project would require you to down all existing tools and work in order to make happen.  What I am saying though is, ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful?’ …  are you not just the slightest bit curious to see what could happen if focus is slightly shifted and the community itself as well as the people living and existing within it are those in the ascendency to create, develop and nurture unrestricted social care and health led communities to live in?

I would love to hear from likeminded people and maybe this could be the starting point of the future thinkers in social care to develop and nurture a different focus on how to achieve positive wellbeing for all across local communities.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to the journey it may well take us on,

Till next time remember,

“With hope and belief there are no limitations”

Stephen

PS thank you to my lovely daughter for letting me use her lovely photo in the featured image 🙂