I am delighted to say that we are seeing more and more care services that are receiving an “outstanding” rating from the Care Quality Commission. This is an extremely difficult quality mark to achieve, but I know it is something that every care service aspires to deliver. The challenge of being an outstanding care provider is that not only must you have outstanding care, but you must also have all the various administrated and audit trails in place, which prove that your service stands out from others in every aspect of both delivery and administration.
There are many services that are rated as good where the care given to those who use the services is excellent and there needs to be a final push by the organisation to get from good to outstanding.
I have been very lucky to be involved with the Outstanding Society and pay tribute to Camilla Trimble and the management group, for their commitment to help other services achieve an outstanding rating. One of the many things that makes me proud of this sector is the willingness of people to share their experiences and to work together to improve the quality of care.
I visit a lot of care services and what I have noted is that those that I think are good or outstanding are defined by a range of values and behaviours, which set the tone for the way in which the organisation delivers care. Outstanding services have a rigorous focus on the person they support and deliver services that support the individual to live a life, rather than just received the service. I have also noted that the culture of organisations is so important to the experience of people who receive the service. Care providers who have open cultures that encourage people to talk about issues and craft solutions are the services that tend to deliver the best care.
The care sector is one that is significantly underfunded and this means that it is a great challenge to attract the right staff who share the values of the organisation and who are committed to ensuring the service users have the highest quality experience possible. I have been very impressed by the work done by Skills for Care around values-based recruitment. If you have people with the right values this will inevitably deliver better care. It is sad that we cannot offer significantly more money to our hard-working and committed staff, but faced with this reality, care providers must look to ensuring that they deliver a good experience for their staff and value their contribution. This will go some way to acknowledge the tremendous work done by staff and the enormous difference they make to people’s lives.
It is difficult for all services to secure an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission, but I hope every service will work hard to ensure that in the care they give and the support they offer to their staff, they will make sure they “stand out” from the crowd and are recognised for high quality care and are seen to treat both service users and staff with dignity and respect.