QUALITY ASSURANCE POLICY
Ark Care Services is committed to providing the highest possible quality of service to the people who use our services, the organisations who purchase services on their behalf and all other customers and stakeholders and we believe that, no matter how good our present service, there is always room for improvement.
All of our services are registered under the CQC (Care Quality Commission). The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England.
CQC regulates care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. Its aim is to make sure better care is provided for everyone – in hospitals, care homes and people’s own homes. CQC publish its inspection reports on their website www.cqc.org.uk, which also provides details of all social care services available throughout the UK.
Our quality assurance framework incorporates the Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP),the requirements of Investors In People and RDB star rating accreditation.
The high standard of service we aim for is achieved through the implementation of CIP, which covers all of our operational functions from delivery of care and support through to our internal management systems. Staff at all levels of the organisation are involved in CIP and this commitment to staff involvement is reflected in our Investors in People award.
We provide evidence-based and continually improving services, which promote both good outcomes and best value, which includes:
- Ensuring a person centred approach to the care and support for each individual.
- Enabling the people we support to set Customer Standards and involving them in the auditing process.
- Internal Quality Monitoring Visits identifying recommendations and requirements to ensure the improvement and development of the service, as well as identifying commendations for good practice and achievements.
- Obtaining feedback from others who are involved with our services, such as healthcare professionals and relatives.
- Policies, procedures and guidelines, which detail how these agreed levels of service are to be achieved.
- Auditing of our systems to ensure that our high quality standards are maintained and to highlight areas for improvement.
The organisation works within a number of externally imposed quality frameworks that define standards. The most important of these include:
- National Minimum Standards (Care standards Act 2000)
- Essential Standards of Quality & Safety set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
- Other regulatory standards, e.g. Health & Safety Executive, Fire Authority, Environmental Department
- Contracts compliance as set by the placing authority
In general these external quality frameworks all aim to ensure that quality is built into services through setting and implementation of standards, through processes for review, and through monitoring to ensure that services meet the needs of service users and other stakeholders.
We aware that other key aspects of quality assurance include mechanisms for the monitoring or auditing of services to ensure they are being delivered as originally intended.
- Monitoring Visits
(Unannounced visit by someone not in charge of the day-to-day running of the care home. The visit provides an opportunity for the registered provider to monitor the quality of the service being provided in the care home. They may wish to concentrate on aspects of the service that people using it have told them they need to improve)
- Monthly Managers check
(Monthly audit of Essential Standards of Quality & Safety, examination of buildings, fixtures, fittings, risk assessments, equipment, policies, procedures, records, reports)
- Complaints monitoring and effective “open door” policy
- Policies, Procedures & Practices
(Review of policies, procedures and practices in light of changing legislation and reflection of good practice as advised by appropriate authorities or multidisciplinary body)
- Satisfaction surveys – service users’ questionnaires, family/advocates questionnaires, stakeholder questionnaires
(The view of family and friends and of stakeholders in the community (e.g. GPs, chiropodist, District Nurses) is sought on how the care home is achieving its goals for those people who use the service. Further consultation mechanism such as meetings with service user or their representatives can also help to provide adequate confidence that the care home is satisfactorily meeting the expectations of stakeholders and service users alike.
Service User Involvement – Quality assurance begins and ends with the service users – the key customer. In order for any quality assurance programme to be successful, their views must be sought on a regular basis and action taken if a service no longer appears to be meeting their needs.
PARTICIPATION & CONSULTATION
- Service user meetings – Meetings will be held at least every six months to enable service users to have a forum to share and discuss issues concerning the running of the home and its activities.
- Family meetings – to enable families to work in partnership with staff and service user.
- Key working meetings – to ensure all aspects of the key working contract is fulfilled.
- One-off meetings – Where there are specific important issues or changes on which service users should be consulted.
- Joint staff and service user meetings – A representative from the service users will meet regularly with staff to jointly discuss issues concerning the day-to-day running of the home, its activities and policies and procedures.
- Involvement in staff recruitment – A representative from the service users will be involved in the staff selection process.
- Care plan review meetings are to be held monthly for each service user, the service user is to attend if at all possible and the meeting recorded in the care plan.
SERVICE USER SATISFACTION SURVEY
Service users will be given the opportunity to say what they think about the service through a service users survey carried out regularly. The survey will be confidential but a summary of the results will be available and given to all the service users, CQC, family/advocates and stakeholders can also view the summaries.
VIEWS, SUGGESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
The views, suggestions and complaints of service users and others concerning any aspect of the running of the home will be welcomed, listened to, and acted upon promptly.
Inspections are unannounced; if service users are within the home at the time of inspection they are given unrestricted and private access to inspectors during the inspection if requested.
STAKEHOLDERS, FAMILY/ADVOCATE INVOLVEMENT
The organisation will involve other relevant groups, in order to ensure a quality service is being delivered.
Satisfaction questionnaires are to be sent to outside professionals or stakeholders annually, families/advocates and to staff members of Ark Care Services Ltd. These surveys are confidential but summaries of the results are collated and made available.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PLAN
The service will have a continuous development plan for quality improvement, based upon feedback from service users, staff and others. The improvement plan will become part of an agreed ‘live’ ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. The plan becomes ‘live’ because it is regularly reviewed, amended and added to.
The files which may be in situ for continuous improvement may be:
- Discovered – complaints, suggestions, and compliments, good and innovative practice.
- Health & Safety – risk assessments, fire and environmental officer.
- Inspections visits – management visits, CQC inspections.
- Management – budgets, procedures, guidelines, codes of practice.
- Service users – surveys, meetings and individual comments.
- Staff – meetings & individual comments, training, conferences.
A complaint is any form of contact from, or on behalf of, a service user/visitor who is not satisfied with any part of the service.
Our target is to give you no cause for complaint but, we realise that, even in the best run organisations, there may be times when things go wrong and you may not be happy with the service you receive and we need you to tell us about it.
We aim to resolve all complaints about our services in an effective and timely manner by working with individual complainants to find a resolution.
We are committed to continually improving our service, so all our complaints are analysed and used to enhance the way we deliver our service and care for our service users. We may ask your feedback on the service that you have received. Please take the time and opportunity to let us know your views as your feedback is valuable to us. If you have any suggestions or ideas that you would like to share with us, please let us know.
HOW TO COMPLAIN
Voice complaint verbally, to the person-in-charge of shift, within 24 hours of incident, who should attempt to resolve it on the spot.
Voice complaint verbally to the Manager or Directors/Proprietors within 48 hours of incident, who will attempt to resolve the issue, as soon as possible.
By telephone or in writing (letter, fax, email, complaint form) submitted to the care home or head office (address in the service user guide in the bedroom and displayed at the care home)
Who will investigate the issue fully and then within a minimum of 28 days, give a written report to the service user / relative, explaining fully the actions taken. Where investigations are not concluded in 28days, you will be contacted and kept updated.
IF THIS IS STILL INSUFFICIENT:
Funded service users can contact their allocated care manager. (This person will be the Social Worker responsible for the placement to the care home and continued monitoring)
Private self funding service users can also contact the ombudsman as detailed below:
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry CV4 0EH
Tel: 0300 061 0614 OR 0845 602 1983 Fax: 024 7682 0001 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FURTHER TO THIS:
Contact the regulatory authority
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
National Customer Service Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 03000 616161 Fax: 03000 616171 Email: email@example.com
Stating the name of the Home, times, date, circumstances of the complaint, and the events surrounding, the complaint. Please also include any actions taken, to try to resolve the problem, and their outcome.
Please Note: Even though the above is the procedure, service users, service user representative and stakeholders have the right to contact CQC at any stage of the above process.
All persons have the right to live their lives free from violence or other sorts of abuse, but in the 1980‟s and 90‟s a number of serious incidents came to light in which vulnerable adults had not received the protection and support they needed and had been subject to abuse.
The prevention of abuse of adults at risk is a collective responsibility of all sections of society. However, those agencies, professionals, independent sector organisations and voluntary groups working with, or in contact with adults at risk, hold a particular responsibility to ensure safe, effective services and to facilitate the prevention and early detection of abuse from whatever quarter, thus ensuring that appropriate protective action can be taken.
What Does The Organisation Do To Minimise Abuse
- In accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 adults at risk will be given information to support them in speaking out and protect themselves from abuse knowing they will be listened to and believed
- Training in safeguarding adults (adult protection) awareness and good care practice to staff and volunteers
- Identifying in advance potential abusers .i.e. thorough recruitment and selection procedure with appropriate checks with Disclosure & Barring Service Bereau – which holds a list of individuals barred from working in Care and Education and those with criminal records
- Minimising opportunities for abuse;
- Promoting “whistle blowing‟ – Ability for a worker to raise concern at any time about an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or is believed will happen in the near future .
- Gathering information on activity around the management and investigation of alerts;
- Carry out quality audits on individual cases; and ensuring that the general public are aware that these procedures are in place and that steps are taken to protect adults at risk.