Quality Assurance

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.

These include:

  • 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 Surveys

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.