Attention to detail and new quality audit tool

21 January 2015

I visited nine services last week and my theme for this month is ‘attention to detail’. This is something we talk about a lot in CMG including at staff induction, but I want to reinforce the point as I go around services. In my opinion, the care industry is very poor at ‘attention to detail’. I was speaking to a colleague a little while ago who used to work in care and now owns his own restaurant. He said how struck he was moving from one industry to another about the difference in attitude of staff and managers; he said you simply can’t afford to make a mistake with the quality of what you produce in a restaurant, otherwise your customers will stop coming and you will go out of business. Whenever we receive complaints in CMG, they are never down to anything difficult or complicated; they invariably relate to something simple where a member of staff didn’t think or didn’t bother to check. An example from last month, which horrified me, was a complaint from a mother whose son went home to stay with her at Christmas wearing a t-shirt belonging to someone else who he shares his home with; this is completely unacceptable.

Continuing on the subject of quality, we have decided to replace our quality ratings system in England. We developed the system three years ago in response to feedback from our managers that they were frustrated with the CQC compliance/non compliant system. Once a service becomes fully compliant, there is no higher level of quality to which the manager and staff team can aspire. We developed our quality ratings system to address that and it involves an annual rating process for every CMG service looking at over 100 indicators of quality. Given how rigorous the new CQC inspection system is, we have decided to replace this system in England with a very thorough audit tool which will assess the readiness of each service for its CQC inspection, looking at the five areas of safe, caring, effective, responsive and well- led. Our senior team has developed the audit tool which includes elements of the previous quality ratings system and I will be sending it out to our managers this week for their comments. Please let me know if you would like to see a copy of the document.

We will continue to use the current quality ratings system in Wales where they have a different regulatory system.

Peter Kinsey

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