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04th October 2013

Shout about Service User Satisfaction

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I start to send out my Quality Audit forms to all my service users.

For those of you who read my article last week, I outlined the procedure I use for the Christmas festivities when I write out to all my service users asking about their plans for the holidays. Because I’m posting out these letters, I use the opportunity to include the QCS Service User Satisfaction forms, along with a stamped addressed envelope.

I include a cover letter with instructions on how to complete the form and remind service users they can respond anonymously if they choose.

Let’s be honest, if people don’t reply, then what’s the point of the exercise? You’ll never improve your service delivery. Feedback of any kind is absolutely critical. Homecare should be led by the client group and their experiences should shape our future plans. So to encourage feedback, I also advise service users that for any named respondents we will enter them into a prize draw to receive a cash prize of £100. Since using this method/incentive/bribe whatever you want to call it, I saw my response rate increase by nearly 25%.

What’s important is what you do with the results of your survey and within the QCS policy, there’s a checklist to use when each one is returned, which provides a visual summary of the responses and scores.

The majority of people receiving a social care service in their own homes are happy with the care they are receiving. And yet the industry is held in low esteem. Social care workers are not nationally recognised for their hard work and commitment.

I am certain your survey results will reflect that the majority of clients are happy - so why not publicise them locally or on your website? Why not send them to your local commissioners? Share the details with your colleagues? Pin to your noticeboard and put up fliers round your office. Send to people interested in receiving your service, or what about the CQC?  You can also send the summary to your local newspaper as a Good news story.

Once you have the results of your audit, I suggest standing on a chair and shouting it out. We should be proud of our 600,000-strong care and support workforce, and if every one of us stands up and takes some responsibility for trying to raise Homecare’s profile across the nation, then these workers might - just might - get the recognition they so truly deserve.

Rosie Robinson - QCS Expert Care Contributor

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