Quality Care East Midlands Limited
“As we grew we were looking to update how we took care of policies and procedures. The organisation needed something that was a little bit more ‘belt and braces’ to meet the requirements of the CQC,”
Achieving good and excellent CQC ratings at Quality Care (EM) Ltd
Quality Care East Midlands Limited (Quality Care (EM) Ltd) is a health and social care organisation that runs facilities and employs around 400 people. With a head office and care services at The Hollies in Sutton-in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire and one other care facility nearby, the organisation also runs care homes in Derby and Chesterfield as well as domiciliary services.
The organisation is legally regulated to provide accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care. Service specialisms across the business include Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other profound Learning Disabilities.
The organisation has grown rapidly and clearly identifies an ethos and values that put service user care at the centre of its aims and objectives. Quality Care (EM) Ltd focuses on the individual, while understanding the context for local and regional authorities to deliver the most appropriate care plans. All of the homes have achieved both good and excellent CQC ratings.
Placing the needs of service users at the centre of the business is a principle that resonates with those locally who need to source high quality health and social care. This is driving growth and the business has up scaled quickly to meet demand.
Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Quality Care (EM) Ltd, says: “We outgrew the policies and procedures system that was originally put in place when the business started out on a single site. We ran with a generic system. This was built from a variety of resources and the knowledge from internal management. An obvious downfall to this was that it did not automatically update in line with legislative changes and was difficult to use effectively.”
Such an approach inevitably led to searching for the latest information on search engines. “It is not always clear if you have the most recent version of the document when you use the internet to search for official guidance,” says Richard Smith.
It was costly in terms of time soak and it would not be stretching to describe it as a nightmare. “Disciplinary matters were especially difficult as it was not straight forward to locate policy documents relating to disciplinary issues and deal with them easily, albeit that we do have RBS Mentor systems in place,” says Richard Smith.
“As we grew we were looking to update how we took care of policies and procedures. The organisation needed something that was a little bit more ‘belt and braces’ to meet the requirements of the CQC,” Richard Smith says.
Over the course of 6 months Richard Smith and his colleague Jamie Walker, IT manager, researched and evaluated the options for Quality Care (EM) Ltd to take control of CQC registration and compliance. An online demonstration was the start of the process that led to the adoption of 5 Quality Compliance Systems (QCS) to manage CQC compliance across the organisation’s estate. “The online demonstration was provided while I spoke with QCS on the phone. It was clear it was not a generic system; it was a bespoke solution that could produce policies and procedures to meet the differing needs across all our sites,” says Richard Smith.
As an out of the box the solution QCS offers a Question & Answer (Q&A) approach which enables the system to ‘learn’ about the specific compliance requirements of those undertaking CQC registration. The answers that are entered enable the system to customise itself to match the specific needs of each client and facility. On completion of the Q&A, the system produces a comprehensive set of all relevant policy and procedure documentation.
All documents are correctly worded for each organisation as the system automates the process of placing details such as the name of registered providers and the names of facilities throughout. QCS is able to help simplify the process of rolling out compliance systems across organisations that operate multiple care facilities. A service to pre-populate new systems is provided. This carries across information from an existing QCS system into a new one, enabling compliance to be achieved rapidly.
The system has now been in place since the beginning of 2012. “Essentially we carried out the bulk of compliance for each site in a day,” says Richard Smith. “Having gathered all the necessary information to populate the system, it was simple for me and a colleague to work on from home for a day and concentrate on achieving compliance. Over the course of two weeks we took all 4 sites through the process.”
An extremely important feature is the system is secured against unauthorised access which provides essential safeguards in the event of disciplinary matters. Recent updates have made the system even more user friendly. “If someone comes to me with a random compliance issue, I can easily use the system to solve it. Take the example of a disciplinary matter such as a member of staff working too many hours. I login and the system provides me with administrator level access to care management policies and procedures. I would be quickly able to locate the latest Working Time Directive documentation to support our disciplinary procedures,” says Richard Smith.
“QCS has changed our philosophy on compliance policies and procedures. If we can’t find what we need the support team are always there for us on the phone or email. It was refreshing that QCS followed our suggestions to improve the new version. I’m not the best at using a computer, but I can quickly get into the system and get the job at hand done. The release of the new version now makes it even easier,” says Richard Smith.
With a new care facility due to launch, Baden Powell Centre in Chesterfield, QCS’s service of pre-populating the organisation’s 5th system is set to provide repeatability and consistency, enabling Quality Care (EM) Ltd to deliver health and social care services at the high standards required by CQC.
Quality Care (EM) Ltd can be found on the web at: www.qualitycare-em.co.uk