How to be Outstanding in Activities and Wellbeing

Sylvie Silver, Executive Director, NAPA

Keeping up with changes to regulations is always a challenge and ensuring the whole staff team is aware of those changes can be problematic too. It is made easier if the changes are written in plain English.

The Care Quality Commission revised key lines of enquiry, prompts and ratings characteristics (KLOES) for adult social care services, published in November 2017, is definitely written in more accessible language than previous versions. As NAPA is usually seen as the voice of best practice around activity provision we aim to offer support to care settings for translating the written regulations into practice.

Some elements of the KLOES have undergone substantial changes. Those directly pertaining to activity provision have not changed but the revised wording has added clarity. The Outstanding category is the benchmark that many aspire to and it is worth studying the statements in depth in order to review and inform practice.

Person centred care should underpin every aspect of care, whether or not the regulations say so, but, in our experience it can come with a rather narrow interpretation when it comes to meaningful engagement. The KLOES ask us to meet people’s individual needs. To truly achieve this means opening the mind to how the traditions and culture of a care setting can influence how people spend their time and what genuine choices they have over their lifestyle.

On our training days we try to initiate discussions based on how an average person spends their day and to then compare that with the average person that they care for. The differences are usually marked and flag up that much that is taken for granted in everyday life is not readily accessible to a person dependent on care. The right to a meaningful conversation every day is something that NAPA values. A great deal of research highlights the importance of this, particularly around its impact on social isolation, but it is rarely detailed as a priority in a care plan.

Maintaining past interests can be a challenge if taken literally. A frail older person with health issues may not be able to play golf like they used to but they can still enjoy watching a tournament on the TV. Better still they could regularly visit the local golf club for a social drink and chat with fellow golfers. Maintaining past community links and forming new ones that will meet an individual’s needs takes time and energy to build community based relationships and to explore possibilities. Activity staff need to have the time and freedom to do this. Too often they are expected to be client facing or running large group activities all of the time which is a traditional view that definitely needs to be looked at.


Ratings characteristics: Outstanding / Responsive – P59

“Arrangements for social activities, and where appropriate, education and work, are innovative, meet people’s individual needs, and follow best practice guidance so people can live as full a life as possible.

The service takes a key role in the local community and is actively involved in building further links. Contact with other community resources and support networks is encouraged and sustained.

The service has gone the extra mile to find out what people have done in the past and evaluates whether it can accommodate activities, and tries to make that happen. “


NAPA is the National Activity Providers Association. A national charity and membership organisation that aims for every care and support setting to be full of life, love and laughter.

www.napa-activities.co.uk for more information or call 020 7078 9375



Edel Harris





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