Building engagement to drive innovation and excellence | QCS

Building engagement to drive innovation and excellence

Client Name:

Saracen Care


Supported Living

Saracen Care offers outstanding care and support services to adults with health and social care needs. Its services are provided in supported accommodation or people’s own homes and are commissioned by local authorities and the NHS.

Konstantin Petrov, Saracen’s Head of Central Operations, says the company ethos is to strive for excellence and quality in all they do. “This is evidenced in our Outstanding CQC rating and being provider of choice and first tier provider with Gloucester and Swindon local authorities,” he says.

The care provided supports adults from the age of 18 to over 65. The team specialises in working with people who have complex needs and behaviours that may be challenging.

As an organisation, it believes in empowerment and maximising an individual’s potential, providing choice, increasing independence and ensuring a safe and secure setting.

“We drive innovation and creative thinking in a constant aim to improve and better ourselves and our practices”, says Konstantin. “Our goal is to help people live their best lives.”

Saracen Care currently supports around 65 individuals with a care team of 150 to 180. “Many of the individuals we support require more than one carer each day,” Konstantin says.

“Our aim is to deliver a service that’s tailor made to assist people to live independent and fulfilled lives, to make people happy in their environment and over time, empower them to do more for themselves.”

He adds that although there is a constant demand for the provider’s services, Saracen Care is committed to focusing on what it does well.

“We specialise in individuals with learning and physical challenges and mental health conditions. We try to find the right space for the person, and we focus on what people can do, not what they can’t.”

He said that in line with the Government’s commitment to promoting supported living over residential care, when possible, Saracen Care aims to bring people back into the community. “This shift drives inclusion for people who should never have been kept away in the first place,” he says.

In a sector that is facing many challenges, not least attracting and retaining staff, Saracen Care has doubled in size in the last two years. Konstantin explains that although it is not one of the UK’s largest supported living care businesses by far, “staff retention and creating a feeling of belonging for all employees is a key part of its success”.

To help with its management of policies, Saracen Care chose Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, as its compliance partner.

Policies are at the heart of what Saracen does, says Konstantin. “That’s where QCS has been so helpful,” he added. “QCS policies are well structured, and the people behind them are passionate, show a deep understanding of what the policies are there for, and provide a clear framework. The QCS team are people we like to work with.”

He explains that: “QCS provides us with clear, well-structured and thorough policies and procedures that are accessible to employees in a user-friendly fashion at all times. The system also keeps up to date with the latest legislation. 

“We have visibility how employees engage with key policies, and if they have read and signed them. This permits us to have a better understanding in terms of compliance and the way policies are received across the business.”

Although Saracen Care installed QCS’ compliance management system over three years ago, it wasn’t until Alex Turner joined as Quality Assurance Manager 18 months ago that the provider realised it wasn’t using the system to its full potential, which he has since addressed.

According to Alex, the major difference QCS has brought to the team is the ease of policy review. “Previously only the management team had online access to QCS policies. To allow other team members to view them, they would be downloaded from QCS, uploaded to another system and then printed off for staff to read and sign – obviously not very efficient.

“Now, all staff can access QCS content either online or via the QCS App which is extremely user friendly and allows access 24/7 from anywhere. This has saved us a lot of time and paper. It also allows us to easily track staff involvement and progress, to see how long our staff are engaging with our key policies. This gives a much better understanding regarding compliance relating to policies and how they are received.”

“We have put a lot of time and effort of how we want the system to run. For example, we have built engagement with policies and the reading list on the QCS system into our employee’s job descriptions.

“But what has been really positive it that we now get feedback from staff about the policies, which never happened before – which proves that the QCS system is building engagement.”

Konstantin adds that: “Connectivity with staff and keeping them informed is very important to us and QCS allows us to do exactly that. Employees’ awareness and access to policies and procedures is key to driving quality of service delivery across the business.

“We can now keep our staff up to date with all policy updates and changes, which enables them to feel empowered with knowledge and contributes to the company’s retention strategy.”

When Konstantin and Alex met Lindsay Rees, QCS Head of Content, they started a dialogue about moving forward. “We now have regular conversations with Lindsay and the QCS development team,” says Alex. “This engagement with QCS has helped us understand how the system can help us, and where we can improve.”

Lindsay says that, after Saracen Care’s feedback, QCS better understands their difficulties, and is actively engaged in an ongoing relationship.

She explains that “QCS exists to provide best practice guidance to its customers and support them to provide outstanding care for the people they care for. To do this successfully we need to understand what people find useful and what challenges they are experiencing to ensure that the content we create is tailored to what they need. Feedback is fundamental to our success.”

According to Konstantin, Saracen Care sees the relationship with QCS in the long term and aims to take it to another level. “We are working with QCS to drive innovation and for the QCS application to connect and work in sync with other key systems we use,” he explains.

“We want to look at learning and development, embedding QCS into the journey of our employees, and developing more of a ‘smart use’ where we can see trends at a click of a button.”

He says he sees the relationship with QCS as collaborative and is looking at working together to improve not just the quality of Saracen Care’s service, but the care system as a whole.

“The ease of use built into the QCS application has been a huge benefit. Moreover, the close working relationship with the team at QCS has helped us improve the system not just for us but hopefully for other care providers too,” he says.

“It’s a great system and we are excited about working together, in a partnership that will positively impact the care sector.”

Lindsay says Saracen Care is a “dynamic and exciting provider who is driving innovation in the sector and clearly committed to providing outstanding care.”

To find out more about QCS, contact its compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email: [email protected].